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Brood Bitch

13 View(s), published at 2003, written by Celia Townsend Wells, published by Purdue University Press
Brood Bitch

Brood bitch by Celia Townsend Wells Brood Bitch is a mother's reflection inspired by her hand-raising a litter of Pembroke Welsh corgis whose own mother died after a Caesarian delivery. Devastated by the loss of her only companion and a.... Published date on: 2003 with total page: 147 pages. Publisher of Brood Bitch is Purdue University Press.

Brood Bitch is a mother's reflection inspired by her hand-raising a litter of Pembroke Welsh corgis whose own mother died after a Caesarian delivery. Devastated by the loss of her only companion and awed by the task of saving the puppies, the narrator is surprised to discover she enjoys this exclusive commitment. Her education, career, marriage, and mothering are all behind her: she is retired, her ex-husband is dead, her daughter is independent. She broods on these past commitments—usually conflicted—in light of her success doing the job of a canine mother. Parallels between the birth and care of the puppies and her daughter keep coming to her consciousness, helping her to understand her sense of failure as a human mother. This is not what she expected when she began showing and breeding corgis. It was a hobby she cultivated in middle age when she was well established in her job but uncertain as a single mother, one that incorporated her love of dogs, her need of an interest outside her profession, and her desire to give up the dating game. Most of all she wanted it to provide a bonding experience with her daughter. It did not, at least at the time. Her bond with corgis comes to supersede all others—ironically through the death of her brood bitch—when she is bound exclusively to the puppies. Nurturing them leads to profound introspection, which eventually heals the pain of her insecure mothering. Beyond that, it enables her to appreciate the vast scope of motherhood in both corgis and women—its variations, illusions, ideals, realities, frustrations, rewards. The narrator realizes that she is a mother for life. Even her bitch was for two hours, during which she never saw her babies. Having mothered them so happily herself and bonded so closely with the one she kept, she is able to forge a bond with her daughter through links from their past that extend into the present. This is a slow process that may take most of a life re-lived, but rearing the puppies makes it possible for her. Her final recompense is a guarded hope that the lovely young bitch who never knew her natural mother will succeed in the role and provide them both with a corgi companion for the rest of their lives. It becomes a reality under conditions even more rewarding than her mothering of this brood bitch, because she now recognizes so many of the complications of motherhood. She at last observes a mother superior, whose existence among women requires a vow of celibacy.

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