Today’s post is NOT about jewelry design. Little or no work took place yesterday, but there certainly was a good deal going on.
One of my Blue Heelers delivered her first litter of puppies yesterday. It took all day long. The bitch (a female dog, of course) had been staying in the house at night since I feared she might whelp in the dog pen where one of the other females could hurt the puppies. She was up and down all night on Wednesday and I finally gave up and got up to sit with her at 4 AM. It was nearly 3 PM before she delivered her last puppy. If a dog could just talk, you could tell by the look on her face that she would be saying “halleluiah” after she finished with the last puppy. I just know that dog was smiling!
I’m well aware that dogs have been having puppies by themselves for centuries, but I wanted to see these puppies as they were born. It’s a good thing because the first puppy was breach, not uncommon, but it needed assistance since it was “stuck in the door”. Two of the others needed help to get started breathing. So, if a midwife helps a woman deliver a baby, does that make the assistant who aids the dog a “midbitch?” hmm . . .
Following the births, I needed to change the newspapers in the bottom of the whelping box. Now think about this. How are you supposed to get the sheets (of paper) out from under the dog and seven puppies when they won’t move? My tired mind pondered this for a while, asked the dog to move, poked and prodded, but to no avail. Then I remembered how you change the bed sheets when someone is ill. You roll the person to one side, remove the dirty linen and replace it with a clean sheet. Then you roll the person to the clean side and take care of the other side. OK, I can do that. The dog was already on her side, so I removed the old newspapers and replaced them on the vacant side of the box. Then I attempted to roll the dog to her other side. You know, dogs just don’t roll well when you want them to. Finally, I moved all the pups to the clean side and tried to drag the dog (humanely, of course) over to that side. That dog is heavier than she looks and this didn’t work either. She grabbed her pups and moved them back close to her on the dirty side. At this point, I admitted that the dog had more fortitude than I did and called for reinforcements. My husband came and put all the pups in a basket, moved the basket away from the dog, and thankfully, she followed. Then I was able to change the papers without incident.
Although both of my females who have had puppies are black, the puppies are all born white except for markings on their heads. In just a few weeks, they will get their dark coloring. The first time this happened with a litter, I wondered if my dog had been out visiting the sheep dog next door rather than the great male heeler I brought her. No, this is just an interesting phenomenon.
I guess the lesson I learned yesterday is that motherhood makes you strong. This dog, which can normally be persuaded to do something if there’s a treat in my hand is not to be reckoned with now.