Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hard Day

Breeding dogs has taught me more life lessons than I care to recount but more than any others, it has taught me that death is the intimate partner of life. Despite our best efforts to ignore and avoid it, the period to every life is a passing to another world. Today that lesson was taught to us again.

Miss Rainbow left us this afternoon. It's hard to believe that beautiful little girl, whose life was so brief, is gone but she is. Her exhausted mother who has been as diligent a first-time dam as I've ever seen, had a moment of confusion and lay on her baby girl. I was downstairs greeting the next puppy watcher who was coming to babysit while I had to work. In those few moments, that life lesson was learned again.

Dreamer knew something was wrong and after doing her best to revive her daughter, calmly allowed us to work on her baby. It was as if she knew that this situation was beyond her abilities and put her trust in us. Alas, it was also beyond mine. Despite an extended period of resuscitation attempts, I could not make that beautiful heart beat again. Sometimes love and intention just isn't enough.

It's been an afternoon of tears but I know that the real lesson is in front of me, in ten lively golden souls and their loving mother. We cry, we rail against the seeming unfairness of lives cut short, and we wish there were another way but then we have to move on and turn our eyes to the day. So tonight join us in lighting a candle for Miss Rainbow because tomorrow we will again return to celebrating life and the joy these puppies will bring to ours.

Monday, January 30, 2012

What a Day!

Dreamer started her second day as a mom with a spa treatment to get her cleaned up after the whelping. We normally would have done it yesterday but she is so intense about being with her pups, I figured it could wait a day. There has been a big change in the pups over the last day, as they put on weight and bulk. They are more comfortable at normal household temperatures, rather than the sauna that they needed for the first 24 hours. All of us are grateful for this maturing, but especially Dreamer who was very hot the first 36 hours.

All of us headed to Otterkill Animal Hospital this afternoon so Dr Jim Zgoda could check out the crew. Dreamer had experienced some unusual things just before the pups' birth so I wanted her to be seen before too long. Aside from a little touch of early mastitis, all is well. The pups were healthy and strong. We'll tackle the mastitis with hot packs, puppies and cabbage leaves before resorting to antibiotics.

In the meantime, we are taking pleasure in just watching the pups. It's hard to get enough of them. Although often described as "helpless," newborn puppies really are very capable but in only a few limited ways. They can seek out heat and milk with great accuracy, they can climb over hill and dale or at least brothers and sisters to get to mom, and they can let it be known loudly and clearly when they are unhappy. They also mew when they are content, one of the happiest sounds I know.

Goodnight all, I have puppies to watch! You can check out photos and videos from the day at Gaylan's Webshots page. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Welcome, *High* Litter!

Dreamer's first litter, Gaylan's "High" litter, arrived last night smoothly and sweetly. Dreamer was due yesterday, January 28 and she was a good girl, delivering right on time. Her water broke around 5:25 PM and soon after 7, the pups started arriving. We ended up with seven girls and four boys, all delivered naturally by 11 PM. They are an active bunch so it took a little while to get the temperature warm enough for them and not too warm for Dreamer but as you can see by the video, they are now content and quiet. We LOVE quiet puppies because it means that they are physically comfortable. Off to tackle the laundry before it becomes a landslide, as well as clean Dreamer up after her exciting evening.

We are very proud to introduce, in order of appearance:
Mr Blue, born at 7:13 PM, weighing in at 12 1/4 oz
Miss Purple, born at 7:27 PM, weighing in at 14 1/4 oz
Miss Red, born at 7:56 PM, weighing in at 12 3/4 oz
Miss Rust, born at 8:15 PM, weighing in at 12 oz
Mr Brown, born at 8:46 PM, weighing in at 14 oz
Miss Yellow, born at 8:56 PM, weighing in at 11 1/4 oz
Miss Rainbow, born at 9:40 PM, weighing in at 11 3/4 oz
Miss Black, born at 9:59 PM, weighing in at 13 oz
Miss Pink, born at 10:16 PM, weighing in at 12 1/4 oz
Mr Green, born at 10:38 PM, weighing in at 11 1/4 oz
Mr Royal Blue, born at 11:01, weighing in at 12 1/2 oz