So you want to be a breeder???
Some of you may have read that I imported a bitch who has been bred. She is top German Showlines, and I bought her on pedigree and feeling very confident in the breeder through an acquaintence who had imported from him through the years. I expect her to improve my lines, and want to make her my foundation bitch.
She came in on the 28th of December, and she is everything I hoped for and more. If you can believe it, it has been love at first site. Her temperament and gentle nature has me wrapped around her little front dew claw.
We have had no way to know for sure when she was bred, our best guestimates would have been January 12 to January 19, but immediately, I thought sooner.
Late New Years Day, we had an emergency. A $600 dollar bout of gas that made me seriously fearful for her life. A 2.5 hour trip each way to the ER, who charged 120$ for an emergency fee, and then 25% more on everything because it was an emergency.
On Thursday, January sixth, while taking out my other dogs, I saw her out in the puppy pen, sitting like a locust laying an egg. I thought, she is in labor. I figured I had some time, so I took care of my dogs, and then called her in. Around eleven I called my vet as I started seeing major contractions. I sat on the sidelines encouraging her to puuuush. And she was trying.
My vet tech did not seem too concerned, she told me that after hours I could call this place or that place. I told her I wanted a VET to talk to, not an ER. I explained my ER experience of the week and felt I had done my ER duty, and could just get a VET to call. Nothing.
Odessa was doing the puppy sit, grasshopper thing, with occasional contractions, but inbetween times she was acting like she was happy and healthy and not in any distress. I took her outside for a walk, with a towel in case we got a puppy down. No.
I waited, at one point, contractions were every three minutes. I called the vet again. It was four oclock. The lady was as unhelpful as before, but another tech got on that knew me. She told me that I should call a vet in the next town, gave me the name and number and told me that my vet (the one that can do surgeries) was out of town! I wish they would have told me THAT at 11AM.
But anyways, I called the vet in the next town, and her surgeon was gone for the day. Nice. And she would only call them in for her own customers. Double nice. And she said she would NOT cut without a progesterone test done, and the only place in the vacinity who could do it was the place I was on New Year's Day -- the 600 dollar bill that I got that day and called up Screaming about being double charged for the emergency.
Odd really, you just leave your Discover card numbers and it is like writing a blank check. You do not know what the bill will be unless you call or get it in the mail.
Anyhow, that is THE ONLY place in the area that does progesterone test. The vet told me to get moving! And I did. I picked up my friend en route.
Did I mention 2.5 hours. Well, 2.5 hours in good weather, considerably longer in a blizzard with white out conditions. All the way. Ice, snow, white out. Bitch in the back being quiet as a church mouse. Passenger spewing comments the entire way. It's your dog food. Why are you slowing down and speeding up!
It was great to have her there though.
We get in the waiting room, and Odessa looks ready to run a marathon. She is bright eyed and bushy tailed, and prancing like she is a picture of health and well-being.
My friend tells me next time, I go alone.
They hand me an estimate $988 - $1088. I sign over my first born.
We get in the room, and they do a vaginal exam. She is fully open. What does that mean? Well, if a puppy would present itself, she would have it. Ok.
They took her temp.
She said she would cut without a progesterone because she is confident that she is in labor. She suggests an ultrasound. I ask her if that is included in the estimate, and she says no. Sigh.
We do the ultrasound. Heartbeats are there. It looks good.
It is up to me. I can cut her or take her home and wait. My friend thinks she is not ready yet to deliver. The vet says she is confident that she is in labor. I am thinking three hours home in a snow storm and then more straining, and no puppy.
They say they will get her on the table and ready and then bring us back. It seemed to take forever. But finally we are staring at her through the operating room window. We watch them cut the abdomen open. My friend is saying they will be born without hair or nails. They dig for the womb and make a bigger slit. They dig for the womb and make a BIGGER slit. Finally they get the womb out.
They pull the puppies out of their sacks and hand them off. My attention is between the girl on the table, and the four puppies being revived behind me now. The surgeon is sewing her up. It takes a long time.
It takes a long time to get the puppies going. They put them in the incubator. Yes they do have hair and nails -- all pups are over a pound.
They said that the placentas were already starting to separate. We got them just in time. They would have been dead by morning.
The put a blanket down and put Odessa down on the floor. She starts to come to. They come and get me for my cc.
I have to have them cut the bill in half and run the card twice.
I get back, and she is awake, but we cannot let her near the puppies yet. There is blood EVERYWHERE. She is weak.
They are holding down her neck, and putting the pups on teets. Puppies will not suck.
We stay there. With a three hour or more treck home, the puppies have to be full of milky cholosterum before we try to go home. Also we have to get the bitch to figure out they are hers. She is so wacky.
At this point they tell me that she cannot be alone for 24 to 48 hours. I kind of knew this but I was wondering how I would sleep at all.
We were there a LOOONG time. Odessa finally started to lick her puppies, and we pulled them away, put them in a box with hot water bottles and some towels they supplied, and rushed her out to the car.
It got it going and put the heater on full blast. My friend held the box of puppies, until we reached her house. The last hour was just me.
Did I mention snow. Yes, we have snow, tons of it. The roads were awful, icy nasty yuck ALL THE WAY HOME.
I got in at about 3AM, and got them in the house and turned on the heat lamp and laid the girl down and tried to connect the puppies. Thankfully, they were still warm.
They were a slow bunch to learn to suck. Connecting them, and then Odessa was not too enamored with the arrangement either. Finally at about 5AM, I settled on the couch near the whelping box, and slept for two hours. Everyone was doing well, so I went and slept for another hour. Then I was awake.
I got everyone connected to a nozzle, and fed Odessa again. Then I went out and took care of the others. I spent the rest of the day with Odessa and crew. Babies lost weight. I kind of expected that. Today they lost more. I am not too sure they are going to make it.
Odessa has been good though throughout. She is keeping them clean, mostly on the first day I had to keep her out off the umbilical cords. She could easily cause a hernea, or worse if she starts pulling them.
Anyhow, she has been a great momma.
I just drove through feet of snow to get hamburger, cottage cheese, yogurt and rice.
My diet of white rice, chocolate covered raisens and dr. pepper has been telling on me.
Anyway, if you think it would be fun to have a litter of puppies, be aware that it may be a whole lot more fun than you expected.
Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.