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New Puppies!

The wait is over and Phoenix's puppies have finally arrived. I know there were a few of you who were super excited and checking daily for updates!

We had two boys and two girls in this litter which was a bit of a surprise to me as I didn't feel she looked like she was carrying that many puppies. When I say every delivery is different it really is every delivery. Not simply every dog, but every delivery. Phoenix is a champion momma but yesterday certainly was full of ups and downs.

I didn't expect puppies in the morning. We all woke up, went outside, did our business and Phi (her nickname) showed no signs of being in labor. That isn't all that unusual mind you, she's done that to me before. Nevertheless I had just texted a friend that there weren't any puppies yet when I went to check on her. She refused to come out from under my nightstand which is what told me I was about to be proven a liar! So we canceled all the plans for the day and got ready for new babies.

After I got her out from under my
nightstand and moved all the other
dogs out of my room, she could relax
a bit and feel more secure in her
surroundings. She was happy to get
all the pets while we waited for
the pushing to start.

When it came time to push she was making me giggle a little bit. She reminded me of her Grandmother in the way that she was grunting and growling at herself. Pepper used to do that when the pups weren't exactly lined up and she got frustrated with pushing. I just kept letting her know I was there with her and loved on her till she got things worked out. Once she did the bearing down really started.

This is what active pushing looks like. For breeders who are concerned that labor is taking too long, unless your girl is doing this nonstop for a couple hours, you likely don't need to worry. (Not that I would suggest ruling out intuition!!) Vets don't give a lot of information when it comes to the actual birthing process. They tell us 2 hours of pushing with no pup - Call your vet. They say 4 hours after the last puppy and you know there's more - Call the vet. Half the time that means you're on the phone with the ER Vet and they will tell you something completely different and now you're panicking because you are worried about your girl and they can't see what you're seeing. They will ask if you're dog is in distress... well she's in labor and panting like she just ran 5 miles - she sure looks like she's in distress!? If you're inexperienced, you'll end up with a lot of stress and quite possibly a C-section you could have avoided. My advice to all new breeders is to find a mentor and learn everything they are willing to impart! Even better if they are willing to help you through delivery - but don't be surprised if they ask you to bring your girl to them. It's a lot to ask them to pack up all their things and make house calls. A lot of us have things we need stashed all over the place!

After a few minutes of pushing hard like that I started to worry a bit about the size of this puppy. Phi has always delivered easily on her own and she was struggling to make progress. I could feel the puppy but he wasn't moving much at all. She rested a few and after about 20 minutes he crowned. Once I got a look at his head I knew we were in trouble. He was really a big little guy. Big for a Pom. I broke the sac so he'd be able to breath but she was really struggling to move him further. Without getting too graphic, I got my surgical lube and tried to help her move things along and he was moving as well. After about 10 minutes she finally got him out but he was not doing well. He was no longer moving and his tongue was white. Really bad signs. I cut the cord and went to work on him right away trying to get him to breathe, but I was not able to get him to come back. He was a huge little boy weighing in at 7.6 oz. The biggest she's delivered is 6.9 and while I think she could have safely delivered a little bit smaller than him, it just wasn't meant to be. I put him back with her so she could say her goodbyes and understand while we waited for the second puppy.

Puppy number two came about 40 minutes later and she had no problems with him. He had inhaled a little fluid - his breathing sounded a little wet - so I watched him carefully. He was nursing within the first 5 minutes of cleanup and weigh-in so he looked super strong to me. We named him Cupid's Bow. He was 6.6oz so I was really starting to wonder if she was done. She did not look like she had many puppies. She wasn't really big, and with two rather large babies, (for context my last two litters weighed between 3.5 and 6 oz at birth) I was thinking she may very well only have the two. She was also acting like she was finished. Ofttimes I can feel the tummy and I can make out whether we have another pup for sure or not but Phi is very protective of her babies and at this point, only suffers my presence as I feed her. Once puppies come she absolutely does not want me messing with her. I try to respect her wishes as best I can so I wasn't going to push that boundary with her unless I felt I really needed to.

Another hour rolled by and still nothing so I decided that, though there was a little voice telling me I could be wrong, I would call it and she had two pups. She showed zero signs of pushing. She was still panting but that's pretty normal for awhile after birth. I figured once I got back from picking up my son from school I would get her new bed set up and move her and the new puppy over.

Well... a liar she made me again.

We walked in the door and the first thing I did was go check on them and what do you know, but another pup! This one a little girl (Sweet Valentine) and I was pretty surprised but happy to be a liar. She had obviously just delivered her as she hadn't delivered the afterbirth yet so I cut the cord and finished cleaning her up and weighed her. She was a healthy but much smaller 5.4oz and at that point I figured for sure she had to be done. I would count our blessings at the fact that Phoenix is such a pro and she didn't even need me around to do the job the right way.

Of course at this point the rest of my dogs are pretty fed up with me and Phoenix as this has been a 3 hour affair and they want out of their sequestered areas and they want to see what all the new sounds and smells are. Also, why on earth is SHE getting all the praise? However they needed to wait a little bit longer as I wanted to be sure she was definitely finished. It's one thing to be sentinel while you have new babies but its really rather unkind to ask that while you're in labor as well!

So another hour goes by and I'm about to change beds when I'm forced to check if my pants are indeed on fire. I admit I did catch about 15 winks but I woke up to licking sounds and another little blessing. The little chocolate and tan girl who we have named Briar Rose - and she weighed in at 6.8oz - the second biggest!! Where on earth was she hiding all those babies?

Now, if you remember I mentioned at the beginning that every delivery is different? Well, Phi's first litter was all delivered in 40 minutes. 3 puppies, out, safe, happy, done. Her second in approximately 2 hours. I said approximately because as I also said before, she showed no signs of labor so I didn't even know she had one of them until I checked on her and heard puppy cries. Can y'all say INSTANT PANIC? hahaha. So it really wasn't outside the realm to think she was done and that it was more likely NOT going to be a drawn out process. However, every labor is different. Every. Single. One!

Good thing I'm generally home all day to roll with the punches!

The wonderfully protective momma that is Phoenix. She always makes me giggle when she gets her nose in there and tells me to leave her babies alone. Also, yes I'm very sniffly - trying to battle through a cold currently, I do apologize!

For any breeders looking to reach out with questions, I'm always available to help with whatever answers I can provide. Often if I don't have them I can get them.

Also, I have been asked about Kruella - I don't believe the pregnancy took. If she is pregnant she too is hiding one - maybe. I don't think she is though. I've taken down her pregnancy information and we will try again next heat with a different Gent. I'm super bummed as I have been looking forward to this breeding for sooo long but this is what breeding is. I've said it so many times. We are dealing in lives when we breed. It is two steps forward, and so often 1.5 steps back. If you're breeding ethically anyways. The lives of the dogs must come first and that so often means setbacks. This isn't manufacturing, it isn't something I can make with my own two hands, it isn't something that is EVER guaranteed. You have to accept that when you walk this path.

Till the next update!


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