Monday, July 30, 2007

Welcome "C" litter Dutch Shepherds!!

I don't mind telling you now, I was plenty nervous!  I am spoiled by dogs who produce pups on a timely manner, on Day 60.  Combined with other recent reproductive issues with another breeder's DS litter, as each day passed I became more concerned.  Add to the fact that Roya had clambered over her enclosure several times, most certainly banging her gigantic belly as she did so, in order to join me in bed.  She apparently decided that staying in the whelping box (quite a fancy affair, 5 x 10, with two areas that can be opened or partitioned, and pig rails) was beneath her.  As for me, it just added to my already restless sleep.  Would she have the pups this night? On my bed?  My friend, Sue, on the other hand, suggested that Roya simply wanted to be like a German Shepherd and wait for Day 63 or so.

Whatever the cause, I would feel nervously each day for movement from the pups. I would hold my breath when there was nothing, and then sigh with relief as the knob of a head bumped against my hand.  Her temp remained 99 degrees until yesterday, when it dropped to 98.5.  I hovered. Nothing.  I put her in the whelping box and camped out, spending yet another uncomfortable night.  I finally left her and moved to my own bed around 2 a.m., not bothering to shut her in the box.  I didn't want to risk further injury and since she can open the lever handle to enter the house from the garage, I fully expected to have her join me again, but she did not.  I listened to her shred papers on the baby monitor and at 5:15 she began labor.

The first pup, a male, entered the world at 5:55 and -- I don't have my notebook handy-- arrived, I believe at 11:40.  10 pups were born, one died after birth.  There are 5 males and 4 females.  Looking at them it is hard to imagine all of them packed inside her, but that explains the gigantic proportions of her girth!    Roya is a completely devoted mother now, and other than her forced exit in order for me to wash up her rear after giving birth so she is springtime fresh, she will not leave them.  I call to her to go outside and potty.  Nope.  I brought meals to her to keep up her strength even though I know she is perfectly capable of getting up to find a meal.  It's just my small part of taking care of her as she nurses the hungry brood.  A little raw meat with some kelp and evaporated milk, with honey, does the trick!

Check out the colors!  There are three that are clearly lighter brown brindle, with one quite red.  The rest range from dark with visible brindling to dark with none visible yet.  I will carry on the Pupster Journal, continuing with the lastest additions to the FoxTal family and you can stay tuned for new developments!

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