Although my prediction for Leeloo's whelp date was June 15 and her 'official' date was June 18, Leeloo surprised me by going into labour last night. Her temperature was 38.1 on Sunday night and on Monday morning it had dropped to 36.9. That is a pretty significant change and enough for me to come home for lunch where I found her happy to see me but not in labour. I put her in her whelping box for the balance of the afternoon and when I came home I found she'd nested the crap out of it an made an almighty mess - completely normal.
She went into pre-labour at about 7pm so I'm sure she was just waiting for me to get there to hold her hand through this ordeal. Her big wide eyes kept looking at me like 'What's happening Mommy?" but I told her there was nothing for it but to power through. We all went to sleep, sort of, in the spare room while Leeloo intermittently nested and tried to bury herself in the blankets. At 3:40am her water broke (might not want to use that pillow again) and the first puppy arrived at 4:30am, Mr Blue, kicking and yelling at the world. Here he is saying hello to his Mommy and his Mommy is thinking "Where the heck did you come from?"
Leeloo then took a break of almost an hour which is quite a change from Halo who seemed to think whelping was a competition and the faster the better. Leeloo allowed me time to weigh, photograph, make notes, clean up and prepare for the next one. It was marvelous. She would relax for almost 40 minutes and then for 20 minutes would have a series of small contractions after which she'd have 4 or 5 major ones and out popped a puppy. This has been going on all day and let me tell you ... we are both completely wiped out and I for one am starving. Proud Daddy Boy has been very patiently waiting for news of his new arrivals, he was a little stressed out this morning, didn't eat, and threw up some water - poor guy doesn't take this kind of anxiety well! Here he is checking in on his gal.
The final count is 10 with 6 boys and 4 girls - we are only an hour from the last puppy's birth Leeloo is practically comatose and that kind of relaxation usually means a bitch is done. Everyone is doing great, they are all active, eating, and having a marvelous time discovering the joys of using their vocal chords. All of the puppies have ridges, most of them are even considered 'show ridges' except two - one apparently placed an order for two ridges by mistake so she has extra crowns and the other, well, she forgot to place a large portion of her order so she only got one crown that sits right on her shoulders - I'm very curious how that will mature. Because she only has one 'crown' I am calling her Princess ... plus she has the pink ribbon so it suits her.
Almost all the puppies are a light wheaton, not a color I expected a lot of and although Leeloo is obviously a light wheaton, for some reason I expected more red wheatons - probably because The Boy is red. I don't mind the lighter wheaton but some people do and it's something to make note of when choosing a puppy. So that is the end of one ordeal and the beginning of another, we will attempt to keep everyone alive for the next 8 weeks and barring any problems 9 families will get to add a puppy to their midst and I will have my show bitch ... considering there is only one to choose from she better be good! No pressure Miss Purple.