Or I could call it “The first few days” 😉
Although each new litter is a bit different, they are similar in some ways. So I thought I’d let you all in on what’s been happening the past few days.
As with any expectant litter, I sleep on the couch in the living room when I know a mom is expecting. I take the mom’s temperature twice a day starting about a week before the due date. Her temperature usually takes a pretty significant drop 8-12 hours before whelping (delivery).
Since Lucy and just had her babies a few days before and Rosie had had complications with her last litter, I was extra vigilant and stayed close by.
Rosie’s temperature was down at Tuesday evening’s check, although not as low as I expected. I still thought the puppies might make an appearance that night. But thankfully, we all got some sleep instead.
By morning she was becoming a bit restless and digging in her crate a bit (by this point, I had replaced her bed with newspaper). Rosie played it cool, not the drama queen at all and quietly delivered the first pup that morning around 10:00 am. She continued on methodically delivering her pups until she finished up with the last in the early afternoon on Wednesday.
And as it happens with large litters, sometimes we get a variety of sizes; always some big ones (who hogged all the food during the pregnancy) and some smaller ones. (Can I just insert something here? I really dislike the word “runt”. People will see a smaller puppy in a litter and say, “Oh, is that the runt?” *sigh* To me, a runt implies a small, defective puppy. There’s nothing different about a small puppy from a big puppy except its size. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just smaller. Seriously, what if your child was born smaller than the average sized baby and people called it a runt?! Sorry, my lack of sleep is making me a bit emotional). 🤪
So in order to give the littles the best possible chance to survive, I supplement them several times a day to make sure they are getting enough to eat. And I usually weigh them twice a day for the first few days to make sure they are gaining. Plus there is always the chance with a big mom that she might lay on a baby (which Rosie seems to do frequently. If I hear a muffled puppy cry I head quickly to the crate. Usually when Rosie gets up and lays back down, she inevitably has someone behind her.) We also have to keep them nice and toasty warm (without overheating mom) during the first stage of life. Keeping them warm enough, feed and safe (from mom’s big body) are our main concerns after birth.
So as you can imagine I haven’t been able to get too far away from Rosie and her pups these past few days. Or get much sleep. But that’s okay, it’s for a good cause. ❤️
I finally had to make a quick trip to Spokane on Friday though. I was almost completely out of adult and puppy food. In fact, the adults got some homemade food a couple nights before. But I couldn’t chance running out of puppy food for our nursing moms and make them eat something different.
Thankfully with hubby home full time now I had someone here to frequently check on the babies. So I gave the little ones their extra food around noon, then jumped in my truck and sped off to Spokane.
(*Be right back! I have to go feed babies again*)
It was about the quickest, round trip to Spokane I’ve ever made. Nothing like fours hours of driving, half hour to park, shop and load, just for dog food. Hey, we dog people have our priorities! 😉
So we’re through the critical first few days, and it gives me hope that they will all just continue to grow and gain. (There’s still a chance we could lose one, but thankfully, even the small ones seem vigorous and healthy; just small).
I know everyone wants to know right away what each mom has delivered. But because we sometimes lose puppies at birth or soon after I’d rather wait a few days to make sure everyone is doing okay and gaining and such before I share the details. I really dislike telling everyone we had “X amount of puppies” and then lose one and have to share that sad fact later. So I appreciate your patience and understanding through this process.
So, let me introduce Rosie and her beautiful red babies (yes, all red!); two boys and five girls! ❤️