The Wait Is Over - The Puppies Have Arrived

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Monday, 23 January 2017

The Wait Is Over - The Puppies Have Arrived

It's often said that "good things come to those who wait". Well, less than 24 hours since I hit publish on my "Why are we waiting?" post and here we are with 6 new additions to planet earth in our spare room in the form of a half dozen healthy and vibrant little bundles of fur. Having the chance to be there with her as she delivered her pups as she trusted us to be in the room and offer an occasional helping hand, well it was magical. There are many adjectives I could use to describe the birth: messy; exhilarating; terrifying; hectic; calming; moving; loving......but if I were forced to choose just one I would have to go with beautiful. It was an experience I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of.

Rewinding to last night, to be more accurate it was probably even less than an hour after I published the "Why are we waiting?" post that it became clear that last night was not going to be a quiet one after all. Leela had been clingy all day and digging around in her whelping box, but after our false alarm last Thursday when she did the same only to flip back to normal with no pups to show for it, we had done our best to remain open minded.

It was when we headed down to bed that things really began to accelerate. Leela was whining, running back and forth between our bedside and her whelping box, hiding under beds, continually wanting to go outside only to strain and produce nothing. It was then we realised we better assign shifts to sleep next to the box so that she could relax in a safe environment for the pups to arrive into.

Esther woke me at 3.30 am after a restless few hours comforting Leela.....and that was the last I saw of sleep for last night for myself as well. By 7.30 she was visibly shaking and straining, vigorously tearing up her newspaper nest area and we knew it could happen any moment.

The first pup arrive just before 8.30am with a single yelp from Leela and a sudden springing into purely instinctive action as she immediately licked and broke the amniotic sac around the puppy before setting about chewing the umbilical cord. As a helpless onlooker I confess I was scared with questions racing through my head. "Would she know what to do?" "It look so rough, is the pup ok?" "Do I need to help?" But Leela's instinct was a natural marvel I felt privileged to see. At less than a year old herself, still a puppy in many ways, she did everything to lick and love her firstborn into life and as the tiny, helpless pup began breathe and whine before making its own instinctive journey direct to a teat. I could hardly believe what I was seeing.

Pup number 2 arrived a little over an hour later and subsequent pups followed in shorter and shorter intervals. Yes, there was blood and fluids and squirting and placenta everywhere (until Leela ate it) but that is not what stays with  me from the 2 hours it took to her to deliver all 6 pups. What I will, I hope, never forgot is the immediate and instinctive bond that was formed between mother and puppies. Seeing her respond immediately as they were born and then clean and love and attend to their every yelp and whine was amazing. I've heard phrases like "a natural mother" before, but until today I don't believe I have fully understood the expression.

And now it is the evening and 6 clean and dry, light beige and white, blind and largely helpless puppies are hungrily suckling away at Leela in a melee of tiny feet and tails. Leela, the dog who only came into our lives two and half weeks ago and who has changed the shape of our days unexpectedly and wonderfully.

No doubt there will be many, many challenges lying ahead as these little ones grow. All we can do is our best to support Leela and them and take it one day at a time. I hope they remain healthy, that Leela continues to do such a wonderful motherly job, that Leela stays healthy as well......and also, as I said above, I deeply hope I never forget how amazing it was to be a part of this experience today.



1 comment

  1. Ohohoh, wonderful news! Happy that all went well! Congratulations!


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