Sunday

What A Week...

It always happens here on the farm when we have pups, it’s late at night, usually on a Friday or Saturday when the Vet’s office is closed and I have to go through the answering service when something comes up or I feel there is a problem and I will tell you, I am particular about my dogs and their wellbeing.  I probably worry too much but I am a dad, and these are my kids.  I remember when my oldest son was a toddler, it was me that called the nurse for advice and she even knew me my voice and always answered my question and solved my problems, but I was concerned.  This was a trying time, but then again, they all are when and hoping everything is falling into place.  I know dogs have giving birth for thousands of years, but not my dogs and I want everything to work like clockwork.
We knew Annie was close when we had her x-rayed last Monday.  She was carrying 8 pups and they looked full grown so I knew we were on track for this week but Mother Nature always throws a few kinks into the mix.

This next statement in not to discourage anyone, but if you think it is a piece of cake to have pups, you’re very mistaken…Here is the short list of the events this week.
Starting 3 weeks ago, Annie did not want to eat and we all know that it is essential that they get good nutrition and exercise so I had to make special food for her every meal because she needed to eat.  Plenty of exercise in the below zero outdoors and doing it frequently and carefully because of the cargo she is carrying.
Vet trip on Monday for the x-ray to measure and count pups and to make sure everything is in place and ready to go. 
Dogs usually give birth in 63 days…but there are exceptions every time, such as, when did she ovulate and when did they breed and hopefully you can come up with a date, but not always…
On Wednesday, she seemed antsy so I slept with her and had an open eye all night.  Thursday…the same thing…nothing yet.  Friday she went into 1st stage labor and her temperature dropped to 97.4 and a normal temperature is 101. – 102…so birth is within 24 hours or less.  Friday night came and went and I watched TV or read all night with no sleep…nothing.  At 10:30 pm I called the Vet and we discussed options, but he felt sure things would move by morning.  At 7:30 am, I re-called the Vet and discussed the now very limited options.  There was discussions that action needed to take place by 11:30 am to protect the pups and mother.  It was now snowing outside and the last thing I wanted or needed was a C-section on my Annie and driving her in the snow makes it worse.  
Searches was made on the internet and I found an article written be a Vet in Canada that had great suggestions and options for this, but because I had more questions, I started to search for the Vet, via Google.  In ten minutes, I had her on the phone and we discussed the options, but it was getting slim if I wanted total protection for the pups and Annie and then I called my good friend and the Vet that I once worked for and he gave me the best advise…”Don’t jump too fast” 
It is a one hour drive to the Vet's surgery center where they would do the operation and we would need to leave before 10:30, but at 10 am, Annie got more determined to “nest” and at 10:10, she delivered her first pup and 7 more pups by 4 pm. 
And just think, this is just the beginning of at least 8 weeks of due diligence for the little pups to make them the best they can be for the new owner. 
I guess the moral of this story is there is never an ending to the things that can, and do happen.  So as I write this blog on Saturday night after having nearly 3 hours of sleep in 72 hours, I ask myself is it worth it?  
Yes, it is, because you share their love and let someone get as much as you do and especially looking at Annie fast asleep tonight and hearing the little squeaks and peeps from the little ones nursing.  Until next week…
Nothing great comes without great work...Ken  

Note:  Gabby did not become pregnant when she and Doc ran through the woods, but Annie did slip into the grasp of Doc in a very brief moment...which is another story

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