It Was a Wonderful Day in Dogville Today

Riley has successfully completed her trial by fire and is now a beaming mom of six puppies. The day yesterday had all the drama of a Lifetime Movie Special: Barbara exhausted from standing vigil the prior night with Riley. Myself just coming off hospital call and finding Riley in labor.

Our good friend Kathy, labor and missionary nurse extraordinaire getting to see her childhood dream of a litter being born.

The first three puppies being born breech with the first being a really difficult fit.

Theresa, our good neighbor and dog midwife, throwing out her back from bending over all day in the whelping box.

A hurried ride with Riley to our most excellent Vet, Dr. Steve Feldman, when her labor stalled after three puppies. A shot of pitocin, then a delivery of a puppy by me in the back of the moving suburban on the way home. Our son Brian watching the big girls upstairs who could smell the scent of new life on all of us.

And Brian retreating upstairs after finding Kathy’s instructions to Barb and Theresa about getting a puppy to latch onto a nipple a little too much for his masculine side.

The uncertainty of how many puppies to expect even with an XRay done that afternoon. The delay of about three hours between puppies that had everyone on edge.

The worry over the last placenta that did not deliver with the final puppy. The final shot of pitocin at midnight to get the placenta out, but me falling asleep on the cot, and the only sign of the placenta having delivered was Riley’s dirty bottom when I awoke to puppy squeaks an hour later. She obviously had a late night snack as a finish to her incredible day’s work.

The final tally: two females, and four males, all thriving this morning. Not the size litter we had hoped for, but considering the adversity we had faced trying to get Riley to successfully have a family over the last two years, we are still very thankful. As you can see, it helps to have a village of friends to whelp a litter, and insure that the best start in life can be given to each one of these special puppies.

And hugs to our Riley who did such a tremendous job for her first try at motherhood!

The only sadness to spoil this great day is for the folks that will be disappointed when I start making the calls or emails tomorrow. I have not looked at the client list in the last several months. Barb has just filed away the applications by dates. Some clients will be ecstatic. One family will be the one who was supposed to take Rocky home last litter, but were sorely disappointed when he had his emergency surgery and we couldn’t guarantee his future health. Another will be a family who grieved over the loss of their precious golden and couldn’t decide on when the right time would be to replace her. So they have been our list through the last two litters and then decided this would be the right time to welcome another golden. I tell everyone this as it is important to realize just how patient some of our clients are. We have a lot fewer puppies to offer than we had hoped. So I have to start at the top of the list and see if clients are still interested, and if we have the boy/girl choice to offer them. I expect this process will take several days. For those who we cannot offer a puppy from Riley’s litter, and who choose to wait, Barb and I will make a special effort to see their wishes fulfilled with our breeding partner, Donna’s next litter.