As most people know the traumatic experience of Leeloo being bred to Raimi occurred 5 weeks ago. It was a stand out bonding experience with my parents. I'm sure Leeloo will never forget it and neither will The Boy but for different reasons. Here is chubby Leeloo attempting to signal someone in a desperate cry for help before she is molested by The Boy.
I forgot to get a 1 week photo of her baby belly but imagine the way she looks in the above photo only ... the same. There wasn't a lot of change and at only 7 days in whelp there isn't exactly a lot to look at. Below is a rather hastily scrounged photo of her at 2 weeks because I also forgot to actually get an official 'baby belly' photo. Yes, I am that dis-organized. At this point I was thinking 'Maybe' but not even 50% sure. She was also a couple pounds over weight when she was bred so I wasn't trusting that she was not just gaining weight. I was busy second guessing myself every hour.
Three weeks is when things start to accelerate. The embryos are implanting in the uterus so the dog tends to feel a little off. Leeloo would never consider being off enough to stop eating or vomit but what she did do is become far more sedate for about 4 or 5 days. I suspect she didn't feel actually sick but she certainly didn't feel quite right. I bet. The below photo is at 21 days from the day she was bred and you can see her tummy is starting to fill in a little more just behind her ribcage. Okay, maybe you can't because the above photo is so atrocious but trust me, there's fill. Also ... her boobies were not themselves if you know what I mean. At this point I am 99% sure she is in whelp but I needed a second opinion.
Enter Archer. His owner Sandra hadn't seen Leeloo since before she was bred so I wanted to know if she noticed an apparent change. She did. At 4 weeks, or 28 days, we were just under halfway along and things were dropping. Her tummy, her boobies, her activity level. My parents also saw her and gave their educated opinion that Leeloo definitely has something going on in there. Phew right? After the production to get her into this state it would have been a disappointment to have it go to waste.
And here we are, the official announcement that Leeloo is in whelp and this is the photo to prove it. Five weeks and what the hell? I had rather expected her to not show so soon because Halo, at 5 weeks for her first litter, didn't and was ultra-sounded to confirm and she had 8. I thought Leeloo's greater length of body would hide the babies more but in fact I think her length actually allowed them to drop sooner. That or she has a football team in there.
Leeloo is from a litter of 13 and her mother is from a litter of 14 - now, there is no proof that genetics follows any kind of trend when it comes to the number of puppies a bitch will typically whelp. I think fertility plays a factor but being fertile can just mean it's easy for them to get pregnant, not that they will have lots of babies. Either way Leeloo gets a cozy bed, lots of food, exercise and hugs every day. Her little buns are cooking away and their mom is getting more demanding by the second. Their father is his great, loving, adorable, goofus self and he doesn't have any idea how his life will be turned upsidedown in 4 short weeks. I am secretly pleased that even when he officially becomes a Daddy Boy, those beautiful brown eyes will only be looking at me. Okay, that's not quite true because we all know puppies are fascinating - still ... see below for L.O.V.E.