Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cloud 9

Today was the day Leeloo's last litter of puppies landed on planet earth. She went into stage one labour last night at about 8pm and things progressed from there. She had her first puppy at 4am, Miss Orange, who is the biggest puppy I've ever had at 19 oz, and then spent the next 3 hours worrying me into an early grave. She fussed, contracted, fussed, nested, whined, contracted on and on for hours.

She insisted her one and only puppy be in the whelping box with her at all times despite her proclivity for tearing up newspaper and digging. I kept an eye on Miss Orange and wondered what on earth the puppy in the chute was playing at with all the delays. I was worried it was an overlarge puppy that was jamming up the works since the first was such a big girl and puppy #2 might require an intervention. Given her actual size I can't imagine what the delays were for - the first puppy born is the one with the ribbon and the puppy who took 3 hours to arrive is on the right. Ribbon puppy is 19oz and no ribbon is 9oz.

It was 7am before that miniscule trouble-maker popped out. She is the smallest puppy I've ever had born in my house and less than half the size of her siblings. What she lacks in size she makes up for in determination and even now is fighting for her fair share. She has the most white of all the brood with one white sock which extends up her leg to her white patch. I always wanted one of those! Her cousin London would be proud. Check out the difference in size compared to my hand.

After the teeny weeny puppy everyone else came in fairly regular intervals which allowed me time to make coffee and get the first of many loads of laundry on the go.

Leeloo foiled me twice by presenting the world with a puppy moments before I re-entered the room but now that she is an old champ at this they were in her very capable paws. I just cleaned them off and dried them with Leeloo looking on like "I got this, you go have your coffee."

At 10:30am we stopped at 7 with 6 girls and 1 boy and I cleaned out the whelping box, gave Leeloo a snack, had something to eat, downloaded the photos and prepared to relax with babies for the rest of the day.

This is what a litter of seven looks like. Nice and easy, not a lot of work, simple to manage and just the right 'going away' number for Leeloo.

At 4pm I was working on the computer when suddenly I hear behind me an extremely unbecoming noise from Leeloo. I turn to see her giving birth to another puppy. I grabbed a small towel and gently grasped the puppy to pull it out fully expecting it to be dead. He was quite the opposite. Kicking and quickly snorting the fluid out of his nose he proclaimed that it's better to be late than to have to be removed from your mother's emergency exit. It was now 4pm and a clear 5 1/2 hours after the previous puppy had been born. I was, in a word, astounded. I had certainly palpated and although I thought I could feel some lumps I am no vet and have little to no experience squashing around a dog's tummy to see if she has any puppies left. Based on Leeloo's previous hours of behaviour I had guessed she was done. She'd had some contractions but at some point she expelled a placenta which I had accounted for the contractions. Mr Green knows better.

Now we were at a comfortable 8 puppies and I was very happy with that but Leeloo had one more trick up her sleeve, so to speak. Again, with little to no warning, she had a massive contraction and out popped yet another puppy. This time it was a big red wheaton girl who stated upon exit that a lady may be fashionably late. She was late by a clear 6 hours but whose counting? Miss Lime is number 9 and that makes our real and actual final tally. 

All of the puppies are perfectly show ridged which really surprises me since the last litter they were not. There's some extra white, a couple with rear dewclaws and like last litter most will be either a wheaton or a red wheaton with only one male, Mr Green, being a light wheaton. Can't wait to see how he turns out; however, now is the time to just let them grow and hope, as ever, that everyone makes it to 8 weeks. This is what 9 puppies looks like with their extremely capable and trustworthy mother.

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