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DANDI PUPS 2
|Now at a Whelping Box Near you.|
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the family room!
(And they are Y2K Compliant)
Most people had Turkey
Arriving on November 25, 1999 (that's Thanksgiving night!) at 8:30 p.m., the pups and Mom are doing just fine. We "Humans", however, are sleep deprived, stressed out maniacs. We just can't seem to do anything the easy way - see The Thanksgiving Tail!
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[ Dad ]
T'was the eve of Thanksgiving, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse
With FIVE adult Old English Sheepdogs, and one ready to whelp, "Stirring" is not the operative word here. Wild, Crazy, Hectic, Insane, Idiotic - you get the idea. Dandi was "due" on Thanksgiving Day, but had delivered early last time, so we had expected it to happen on Monday.
We rented the WhelpWise equipment - a fetal heart rate (ultrasound) monitor and uterine contraction monitor. We had to find and listen to each puppy heartbeat to make sure it was not stressed (the puppy, not us - we don't count) - found eight - one more than X-ray showed). Also monitored for contractions - how many, and how strong. We had been monitoring for over a week (every 10-12 hours, with each session taking about an hour and a half), with no delivery in sight. We just knew she was going the cross her paws till Thanksgiving - a day the vet would be closed (did I tell you we are paying for the new wing as it is?)
Surprise, surprise - we find out on Wednesday (that's the day before Thanksgiving, for the calendar challenged) that not only will the vet be closed, but BOTH partners will be GONE - GONE as in "out of town" till late afternoon Thanksgiving Day. That clinches it - we now know when the delivery will be.
Gee - guess what happened Wednesday evening - contractions started. Monitoring now MUCH more frequent - little sleep tonight. Get the names and numbers of other area vets "just in case". We don't expect a problem, this is going to be a simple delivery in the aptly named "family room".
Happy Thanksgiving!!! Still nothing - monitored all night - some contractions, but not enough for pups. Vet calls - leaving for family dinner - gives beeper number, can't help physically, but will be available for moral support (THANK YOU!!!! Made our day - so far).
Mid Morning - OK, time to get serious, contractions started in earnest - first puppy soon. HA! Not that easy! Continue monitoring throughout morning - 15 to 20 minute sessions, small doses of meds - still nothing. Vet given updates (bet she was thrilled - turkey dinner and harried pet owners - did I tell you we are paying far a new wing?).
Mid Afternoon - Still nothing pup-wise. Contractions still contracting, heart rates still over 200 and strong. Continue monitoring. Vets still out of town.
Dinner time - Still nothing. Should have delivered by now. Getting concerned (as if we weren't before!). Set a limit - no pups very soon, go to vet. WhelpWise concurs - contractions should have moved pups (Thank God for them - without the equipment, we wouldn't have any idea what the status of the contractions were, and may have waited too long).
Early evening - OK, time for the vet. Beeped her - just leaving to go home - will call other partner. Called us back - be at the vet's 8:00 p.m. and Oh - no vet techs available, will have to have the two vets in attendance if C-section required (did I tell you we are paying for a new wing?).
8:00 p.m. - at vet - dog examined - Yup - C-section (Surprise, surprise) - feels like large pup that won't pass. Has his three teenage kids in attendance to assist.
8:15 - Second vet arrives (the one we have been beeping - she is still talking to us - good sign!). Won't be long now.
Time blurs - called to back to assist (did I mention we are both Emergency Medical Technicians (qualified to deliver human babies), and the vet lets us help with delivery and pups). Ever see a C-section? FAST - by 8:30 or so, there are EIGHT puppies in the incubator squeaking and crawling around. Mom is recovering. (Did I tell you we are paying for a new wing?)
Seems the first pup was CROSSWAYS in the birth canal - had we not known enough to act when we did, we may have lost the puppies AND Dandi - as it was, none were stressed (just us, but we don't matter, remember?), and ALL were fine. By 9:30, Mom WALKED out with us and the pups for the ride home.
NO, it isn't over yet. She didn't have any pups naturally - had no idea what these squeaking, rat-like things were that were trying to get to her belly. KEEP THEM AWAY FROM ME!! (Remember, its now 10:00 or so Thanksgiving night - been up almost 48 hours - do we now have to take over the feeding duties?)
OK, lets take it slow. First get her to be in the same ROOM with the pups without freaking out (about an hour to accomplish this). Next have her LOOK at and SMELL a pup without turning away (half-hour or so). Allow one (of eight) to nurse (another hour or so). Get her to go in the whelping box with the puppies and nurse them (several hours more).
Well, by 7:00 am Friday, all is calm - or at least as calm as it will be for the next few months. One happily nursing Mom, eight happy and healthy puppies, and 4 VERY put out other dogs who feel they should be getting equal attention and be in the whelping box/family room too. Did I mention that all entrances are barricaded with furniture and high gates (the others think nothing of jumping over a sofa from a standing start - these are agility dogs). And don't forget the two almost lifeless humanoids staggering around getting dog breakfasts, plugging and unplugging pups from the feeding stations, and generally "existing".
We don't do anything the easy way. Oh, and did I tell you that 3:00 AM Sunday we made an emergency visit to the ANIMAL EMERGENCY HOSPITAL? (Turned out to not be a problem, but can't take chances.)
Did I tell you we are paying for a new wing?
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