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Litter Diary - page 1

October 3, 2005

The “Star” litter of Abby to Hunter is a litter I had always considered. I expect dogs with great breed type and oustanding structure with a wonderful desire to engage their people! Some of these pups might have more drive than what some homes would like to deal with. I however love a dog that is DRIVEN to want to work with me, I like dogs that try hard and can be a bit over the top with their effort! The loss of Rave (Hunter's sister) this past August again made me think of this possible litter.

A few weeks after Rave died I talked to Donna Haworth of Souvenir Malinois (Abby's owner) about how I now regretted not doing the Abby x Hunter litter, now that Rave was gone the void she left seemed bigger than I could have ever imagined. In the course of a few days Donna agreed to let me lease Abby, 2 days later Abby promptly came into season! With the advice of Dr. Cheryl Lopate we opted for a surgical implant of Hunter's frozen semen. The surgery was preformed on Sept 2nd and 21 days later on Sept 23rd we were able to confirm via ultrasound that Abby did indeed have puppies one the way! Below is a picture of one of Abby's 3 week old fetuses. It is the little grey dot inside the black circle.

Sept 23rd ultrasound

October 27, 2005

Abby's pups will be here with in the week! This IS one of my favorite time frames waiting for pups. Feeling those pups roll and push when Abby is still, you think gosh in a week they will be here, in 8 weeks they will be little pups with their own personalities just waiting for their future! We are getting ready for the big day – I have started taking her temperature 2 times a day, a sharp drop in most cases down to under 99 degrees will indicate she will have pups coming within 24-30 hours. Her her whelping area is ready to go and I have found all whelping supplies. On Sat October 29 we plan to do our first target progesterone test and take an x-ray to count pups.

October 29, 2005

It is no longer a secret! Today we took an xray of Abby to see how many pups. Our hope is things continue to progress well and have a normal whelping. I have continued taking Abby's temperature two times a day. At the point her progesterone dips (in my experience with my other girls) well into the 98 degree range, it indicates whelping should happen within about 30 hours. So far we are steady with her temp ranging from mid 99.5ish to 100.5ish.

Here is a picture of Abby relaxing on my bed Saturday night

October 31, 2005

Tuesday AM I will start puppy watch, Abby seems to be holding steady no temp drop yet but her target testing indicates things are getting closer. I do plan to take Shine to her obed class tonight but that will be our last outing until pups are here! Once I get home tonight someone will be home with Abby from then on.

November 1, 2005

Things are moving right along! Abby has had a drop in her temperature down to 98.8. She is still pretty relaxed but I am now on full time puppy watch! I expect pups tonight? we shall see. Below is a picture of Abby hanging out in the 2nd bedroom this morning as I type on the computer!

November 2, 2005

The pups are here! 2 boys and 3 girls! Abby's progression to labor was very normal Wed morning. At about 6am she started stage 1 labor, as planned I touched base with my vet at 7am. She wanted to see Abby at 8:30am if she had not progressed to the next stage of labor (i.e. trying to push out pups). So we were off to the vet by 8am. Ultrasound indicated that the pups had very strong heartbeats but that the placentas were getting ready to come loose, these pups wanted to be born and now! Our thought was that we now had a puppy in the body of the uterus but for some reason not entering the birth canal to kick her into the next stage of labor - off to shoot 2 x-rays - and yes there it was one puppy butt first and feet pointing to his head! Like a big plug in the body of her uterus. So we clearly had a mal positioned puppy and decided not to wait. So Abby was prepped for a c-section, Abby and all 6 pups came through the surgery very well. One puppy however had a significant congenital defect that would require rather extensive corrective surgery, after much soul searching, tears and talking to my vets we decided it was most humane and kind to put her to sleep. Having puppies often leads to thoughts of happy fat babies with nutty smelling feet and sweet puppy breath. But nature is not always kind. In the hours I have had to think about my decision I know I made the right one for the puppy herself and the rest of her litter. More updates in days to come - right now everyone is doing VERY well, Abby is a great mother and the pups are quiet, strong and content! Mom with her pups just a few hours old below.

Here are the pups while Abby was eating her supper

November 3, 2005

Last night my vet (Dr. Cheryl Lopate) called to check on Abby and the pups. We reflected on the events of Abby's day and our choices. Vet was very confident that we made the right choices all around. I talked to her about why a mal positioned puppy happens. Dr Lopate only does reproduction work it is her specialty. She talked about Abby's c-section and how normal her uterus was behaving, she said that she would remove a puppy and down the uterus would go contracting away back to its normal size! She said no amount of pushing would have got that puppy out, butt first feet pointing to his head just made him a big plug. She said a mal positioned puppy is just 'dumb' luck - it happens sometimes. Because he never made it to the birth canal she never started to bear down and push. Abby and her pups look good this morning and they seem to be a very happy strong content (i.e. quiet) litter.

November 3, 2005 - More

Pups were weighed tonight and all puppys have gained between 1-2oz! so we are on the right track. On Friday pups will have dewclaws removed.

November 4, 2005

The puppies survived their dewclaw removal! It makes for a trying day for me, mom and pups. But the pups look great very strong and vigorous.
I will start the DEVELOPING HIGH ACHIEVERS program on Saturday. (Originally published as Early Neurological Stimulation.) Do go read the link above as I think it has interesting information. Does this program make better dogs? I'm not sure, I still think genetics and how the pup is raised play a very big part on what that dog becomes. I don't think this program could EVER take the place of breeding sound temperament and raising pups correctly. However, I don't think it can HURT so why not!

Below are pictures from this afternoon, pups home and content at the milk bar!

November 4, 2005 - More

The puppies now have collars - once they are old enough they will wear cat break away collars (with out the bells!) in the picture below we have
Left to right
Green - aka smiley girl
Red white and blue - aka patriotic stars girl
Black and white checked - aka Moon and stars boy
Purple – aka Purple Paws girl
Orange – aka Harley Davidson boy

November 5, 2005

All continues to go well with the pups! The had their first day of DEVELOPING HIGH ACHIEVERS program today. Not much else to report! Here is a picture from this afternoon.
Nursing L-R Green, Orange and RWB
Laying by Abby’s feet L-R B/W and Purple

November 6, 2005

This is the EASY week to take care of momma and puppies, Abby does ALL the work of cleaning and feeding. The pups are getting so fat and strong and contiue to do very well. So there ARE lots of pictures from this morning of the little sausages Red/White/Blue pup was mugging for the camera, really I'm not sure what she was doing but seems most Things puppies due at this age is cute.

November 7, 2005

Quick pictures of the 2 boys and the 3 girls before work this morning, Abby was out for a bathroom break!

November 7, 2005 - more

Cute picture of Red/White/Blue (RWB) girl from Monday night!

November 8, 2005

Abby and her kids Tuesday AM - note Abby's toy, she decided her pups should be exposed to toys at an early age.

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