The harsh reality

Raising dogs has so many fun and exciting aspects. But unfortunately it’s not always about sweet puppy breath, furry cuddle sessions and tender puppy kisses. I really try not to bring the negative and sad aspects to view. That’s no fun. So when a new litter is born, I don’t share the details for a few days until I know that everyone is doing well and such. Because occasionally we lose a puppy. And it’s no fun to announce this wonderful new litter and then have to make another announcement a day or two later that for some reason “the littlest one” didn’t make it, or whatever the case may be.

But since I’m what some people have called a “transparent” breeder, I’m going to share the harsh reality with you today. This is not a fun post and if you’re not into reading about sad and sometimes gory details, I would suggest you close the page and not finish reading this. Maybe this isn’t a good idea. But I just want people to know that sometimes being a dog breeders isn’t all smooth sailing.

And today was one of those days. Our long awaited litter from Faith and Sundae was imminent. The signs were all there. My son was home from church this morning as he had to start his shift as an EMT/Firefighter around noon. So I sneaked off to church asking him to text me if anything started to happen. (Church is thankfully only about a ten minute drive away; doing the speed limit) πŸ˜‰Β  She was digging a bit he said later, but nothing else.

I left for home right after church so she wasn’t home alone but a few minutes. My husband arrived a while later and we managed to finish lunch before Faith went into action! The first puppy; a beautiful apricot boy arrived at 2:15pm.

Almost exactly an hour later, the second puppy arrived. But alas, this one was not to be amongst the living. He never took a breath. I did little chest compressions and and mouth to nose/mouth resuscitation, but he never breathed, and I never was able to feel a heartbeat. πŸ™


Almost another hour passed and Faith delivered another black and tan boy (same as #2). He seemed vigorous and strong. But Faith has one bad mother quality; she is too violent (for lack of a better word) with chewing cords and she chewed this guy to short. As soon as I could get my hands on him, (and with Faith I try to grab the pups as soon as I can and cut the cord myself) I grabbed him away. I could see a bit of cord (or so I thought) and was planning on tying it off. But as soon as I got the puppy out of the crate and layed him on a towel, I realized it was not cord I saw, but intestines, which then quickly escaped from the opening which Faith had produced. The vet was called immediately, but the prognosis was not good. Surgery on this tender newborn would give us a 50/50 chance of survival (probably slimmer since I had an hour and a half drive to get to her; plus Faith was still in the delivery process with the remainder of the litter). Then she mentioned if more than 2″ of intestine were outside the body, the chances were even slimmer. And that was our plight. The poor little tyke didn’t have much of a chance and passed not much later. πŸ™


Two perfect little puppies, that were not to be. πŸ™

And while I was on the phone to the vet, puppy number four made his appearance into the world. Yep, another black and tan boy! Thankfully I was able to take him from mom quickly. While she was working on the “after birth” clean up, I was tending to the puppy and making sure his cord was tied off and not to short.

About twenty minutes later, we basically had a repeat of number four’s delivery, with number five (but an apricot this time).

And lastly, an hour later the litter was ended with a beautiful, healthy (cord safely tended to) black and tan girl.

There are so many exceptional moments with raising dogs. But today, I just wanted to share a glimpse of the other side of my reality.

It is, unfortunately the actuality of life working with living, breathing creatures.


I thought Faith was done, so threw the towels in the washer, let her out to potty while I cleaned out the crate and put a clean bed and added the heating pad. Then almost two hours after the “final” pup, she delivered #7! Another beautiful black and tan girl (who looks and weighs) like she was getting most of the groceries in utero!


Not the colors I was expecting and hoping for, but beautiful just the same. <3

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9 Responses to The harsh reality

  1. Esther Herst says:

    Reading this post, I couldn’t help but remember what you told Gino and me about Hope’s birth and how you didn’t know whether she would survive. I am so incredibly grateful that you did what you were able to keep Hope in this world and enable me to have her in my life and I have nothing but admiration for your grace, kindness and humanity. Thank you always. esther

  2. kristycory says:

    As a person awaiting a puppy from you, I so appreciate your honesty and transparency, as it makes me confident that we can trust how committed and responsible you are about bringing healthy puppies into this world…even when it doesn’t work out as you hoped. However, I am really sorry for the weekend of loss you have had and I hope you get some time to recover from those losses in the midst of tending three litters!

  3. Kaye says:

    Five seems to be your number! Life isn’t always pretty and I appreciate you “telling it like it is.” The pups are beautiful.

  4. Hugs from Seattle. Losing those cute little puppies must hurt so much.

  5. Laurie Miller says:

    I am so happy to have found you as a breeder. You exhibit such love and respect for your puppies. I teared up over the dignity you showed for the puppies lost. Thanks for your honesty and trust in us to share your grief.

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