Looking for Puppies

John Harvey and Marie Lawrence’s Home
Carlisle, England
Sunday, April 11, 1993
For Easter, Marie and John Harvey planned to surprise their children with a puppy.  Karen Alice at four was old enough to help take care of the dog.  With John Jess, a toddler, and Leslie, a newborn, the dog would need to be a breed that wouldn’t be too rough with children.  John Harvey retrieved the Dalmatian puppy that they had selected, from his parents’ house and left it in the garage after the children had gone to bed.

John Harvey and Marie got up early even though Leslie had woken them up earlier for a feeding.  He was just opening the door to bring the puppy in when Marie called.  “Karen is not in her bed or JJ’s.  Check for her downstairs.”

As John Harvey started to turn back into the house, he saw his daughter asleep with the puppy.  He quietly closed the door.  “She is sleeping with the puppy.  We need to take a picture of them.”  He grabbed the camera off the top of the refrigerator.

“Wait for me.”  Marie grabbed JJ who had woken up and hurried downstairs.

John traded the camera for JJ and opened the door for Marie.

What Marie saw was not the two of them asleep in the door bed but Karen carefully lifting the puppy out of the bed.

Without turning to see who had opened the door and let the light into the dark garage, Karen called out.  “Mommy, open the big door.  Spots has to go to the bathroom.  I made sure he did not go in the bed.”  She set the puppy gentle on the floor and headed for the main door with the puppy by her side.

Marie pressed the button to open the door.  Then remembering that she was in her robe and slippers, she hid behind her minivan and watched her daughter.

Karen walked over to one of the flower beds that hadn’t yet started to sprout and stopped at the edge.  The puppy looked up at her and then stepped into the flowerbed.  When he was done, he started to return to the garage, but stopped and looked up confused at Karen.  Karen was concentrating then suddenly took off her slippers, turned around and got down on her hands and feet.  Carefully, she stepped backward just inside the flowerbed and short of the place that the dog has sullied.  She then showed the puppy how to cover up the spot.  The puppy understood and copied her actions.

Marie stood there amazed.  Karen was communicating with the puppy.  “Why were you out here with the puppy?”

“He woke me up.  He was scared.  He needed me.”

The puppy had taken up a position in front of Karen to protect her.

When Karen saw what he was doing, he moved to stand next to her.

Marie smiled.  “We didn’t know that he would be scared.”  We hadn’t even thought what being alone in a strange place might do to him.  “It was good that you wanted to help him, but you should have told us.  When I couldn’t find you, I was scared.”

“JJ knew where I was.  He woke me up when you woke him.”

John Harvey looked at his son whom he was holding.

“Karen in garage.”  JJ told him.

Both Marie and John Harvey had suspected that their two oldest children could mentally communicate, but they had not voiced that suspicion even to each other.

“Less is crying.”  Karen told her parents.

“Let us go in the house.  If you can carry Spots, I will bring his bed inside.”  Marie watched Karen carefully pick up Spots.  When he started to lick her, he suddenly stopped and started to whimper.

“A dog’s lick is like a kiss.”  Marie explained.

“I didn’t want to drop him.  He is heavy.”  Her father held the door open as Karen entered the house.

Marie picked up the dog bed and followed.


After Easter dinner, Alice Maclaren took a small piece of the left over ham.  “Karen, introduce me to your new puppy.  We can give him this piece of ham for an Easter treat.”

Karen had wondered how to ask permission to go and comfort Spots who was again in the garage.  Her parents had told her that he would have to stay there when no one was home until he was house broken.  When she had said that she would know when he had to go out, they had told her not to let anyone know that she could communicate with Spots.

Marie had known that Karen was anxious to get back to Spots.  She was glad when her mother asked Karen to show her the new puppy then she realized that her mother had also known that Karen had wanted to go to the puppy even if she hadn’t said anything.  What does mother know   “You can show Spots to Grandma Alice.”

Jess started to get up to accompany them but a glance from Alice returned him to where he had been talking with the men.

Once they were outside of her grandparent’s Lawrence house, Karen confided in her grandmother.  “Spots is a nice puppy but he is dumb.”

“He is a young puppy.  He will become smarted if you will work with him.  He wants to please you.”  Alice told her oldest grandchild.

“Bonnie’s puppy is not as dumb, but she is not smart either.  I want a smart puppy.”

“Karen, dogs are not as smart as people.  The brightest dog is not as smart as most people.”

“I know that animals are not as smart.  I can communicate with them.”  She realized that she wasn’t supposed to tell anyone about that.

“I knew that you could.  You were communicated with Fluffy when you last visited with us.  Have you taught JJ how to do it?”

“He learned from me doing it.  He is not as good as I am but he is small.”

“Each of you will have what you can do best.  Your communicating with animals is yours.  Your parents have told you not to tell anyone.  That is very important.  You must make sure that your brother and sister don’t tell anyone about what the three of you can do.”

“Not even Mom and Dad?”  Karen stopped and looked at her grandmother in surprise.

“When they ask about it, you should tell them, but not before.”  Alice realized that she should hold off telling Karen anything more about what she had dreamed about them.  “You have done a good job in teaching JJ to talk.  I think that both of you sound like you are much older.”

“JJ wants to know if we should tell Mom and Dad about our communicating?”

Alice smiled.  “Karen, you and JJ shouldn’t be showing me that you are communicating now.  I may know that you can but you shouldn’t let me know that you are.”

“Even if you know?”

“It is good practice for when you are around others.”  I will have to make sure that Kim’s children know to hide their abilities, but Jason is only two and the others will come later.  I can wait until Christmas when we visit them.  I need to make sure that Beth and Tom don’t learn about the boys’ abilities too soon.
“Grandma Alice, how can I get a smart puppy?”

“First you will need to show that you can take care of Spots.  That will show your mom and dad that you can take care of more puppies.  Do you want to send Spots away?”

Karen got very sad.  “No, I love Spots.”

“I know that you will be able to take care of many dogs, but you have to show your parents that you can.  Once you do that, you will be ready for two more.”


“Yes, with two smart puppies, when they are older they will have their own puppies which will be smart.”

“How do I find smart puppies?”

“You could tell that Spots was not smart.  You will have to ask your dad to take you to look at puppies.  It will take a lot of looking.”

“Dad and I can go next weekend.”

“No, you need to learn about puppies from Spots.  Just like JJ and Leslie, Spots will grow smarter as he grows older.  With your help, he will be smarter than he would have been without you.  You will grow smarter with him also.  It will seem like a long while, a couple of month, but you are very young still.  When you are my age, a couple of months will seem like a short time.”

“Grandma Alice.  How do you know about us?”  Karen had realized that her grandmother knew many things about them that their parents didn’t know.

“I will tell you, but you and your brother and sister must not tell anyone else.”

Karen paused and shook her head.  “JJ says that we will keep your secret.”

“I have dreams.  I have seen you with many dogs.  I won’t say what else I have seen, but I look forward to seeing what you become when you are grown up.  The three of you will make me very proud of you, even more than I am now.”

Karen smiled at her grandmother, who bent down and gave her a hug.

Lake District
Cumbria, United Kingdoms
August 14, 1993

John Harvey was happy.  They had finally found one of the puppies that they had been look for every weekend for over a month.  They had found the female German Shepherd puppy at the West Branch of the Animal Concern Cumbrie in Workington.  Even better, the woman there said that the South Lakes Branch had a German Shepherd litter that they should look at.  She had called and they were now headed there to check on them.  Maybe we can finish this today.  It will be good to spend a weekend at home instead of taking Karen and JJ out looking for puppies.  No she wants to be called KA now.  Well maybe they can find a male puppy that will be acceptable to KA and JJ.  He laughed.  The two of them were so serious when they checked the puppies but they did it so fast.  I think that they knew that Tammy was there before they were out of the van.  They had been so excited.  What does Alice know?
“Daddy, slow down.  There is a puppy in the bushes over there.”  KA told her dad.
He slowed the minivan with KA telling him just where to stop along side of the road.  He realized that he hadn’t given it a second thought that she knew that there was a puppy there.  How quickly we have adjusted.  And Alice knew and we didn’t tell her.
“I will have to go and talk her into letting me take the puppy.”  KA was reaching for the latch for her car seat.

“I will go with you to talk with the women.”  John Harvey starts to open the door.

“No!  You will scare her.  Sphinx is not used to humans.  She found Regis and has been taking care of him but he is too big for her.”

“Karen, I am not letting you out there with a wild dog.”

“Sphinx is a cat.  I like her.  She helped Regis.  Can I take her home?”  If she will let me.
I can tell her to come home with us.  JJ tells his sister.
No.  She wouldn’t like that.  She needs to see me.  She doesn’t understand.
A cat.  With what other animals can KA communicate?  “I need to get out to help you out of your seat.  I can do it from this side.”

“Oh!  That will be good.  You and JJ will need to meet her before she will come with us.”

John Harvey had never seen his daughter so excited and happy.  He helped her out on the road side of the minivan.  Luckily, it was a small country road with very little traffic.

KA went off to the other side of the van but did not enter the bushes.  She called them to her.  She stood there for several minutes when JJ spoke.  “Sphinx wants to meet us.  She is stubborn.”

“Why did your sister name her Sphinx?”

“Sphinx is her name.  She told KA.”

This is going to be interesting.  We go out looking for smart puppies and end up with a cat who may be even smarter.  John got out and went around to the other side to help JJ.  When he opened the door, Tammy jumped out of the door.

“Tammy wants to meet Regis.”  KA informed her dad.

John unfastened JJ from the car seat and put him on the ground.  JJ slowly walked over to his sister and took her hand.  The two puppies were still greeting each other.  John Harvey goes and stands behind his children.

“Daddy, you need to get down so that Sphinx can meet you.”  Karen also squatted.

He moved next to JJ and squatted.  A few seconds later, a smoke colored spotted cat strode from the bushes.  She walked up to KA and inspected her.  Then she walked over and inspected JJ.  When it was John Harvey’s turn, she quickly looked at him and then walked over to KA and lay down and rolled over.

John laughed.  I guess I am not they important.  I wonder if she will ever ask me to scratch her belly.  She looks like an Egyptian Mau.

KA was scratching Sphinx’s belly and it was obvious that she was telling her where to scratch.

John and JJ turned their attention to the two puppies her were walking over to them.

“Daddy, this is Regis.  He is very smart.  He is even smarter than Tammy.”  JJ reached to scratch Regis ear.

John Harvey held his hand out to Regis then when he saw that the puppy accepted him, he scratched his other ear.  Tammy wanted in on this and pushed her way in between John Harvey and Regis.  He was surprised when Regis readily shared the attention with her.

A few minutes later, KA stood up.  Sphinx was satisfied.

“Do you want me to move your seat upfront so you can see better?”  John Harvey asked his daughter.

“No, JJ and I will stay with the Regis and Tammy.  Sphinx wants to see where we are going.  Can you put Leslie’s seat up front?”

“Should I put a blanket in the seat so she will be more comfortable?”

KA looked at Sphinx.  A couple of seconds later, she turned back to her dad.  “She said that would be good.  She approves of you.”  KA laughed.

John Harvey looked at the cat.  I think that Marie and I will have to be firm with her about who is in charge at home.  I look forward to Marie meeting Sphinx.  Alice meeting Sphinx should be even more interesting.  They are coming down for dinner tomorrow.  Does Alice know?


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