Thursday, September 25, 2008

Puppies have arrived! Part two

So Walt babysat Candy and the kids while I went down and got the car ready to go, which, incidentally, I should have done Sunday while nothing was going on! Took everything out of the back and put blankets, towels, got a heating pad warmed, the whole thing. While I was downstairs, I fed the rest of the dogs and tried to convince them that there was really nothing exciting going on upstairs. They weren't buying it.

We called Dr. K again at 2:30 pm and she said to come on -- we would give Candy a shot, give it awhile to work, then do a section and have everyone home by seven or eight.

I gave Candy the news while she was cleaning Kitkit for the 15th time, and she said, "Oh, wait. I think I am having a contraction!" I picked up the five puppies and put them in a box with a heating pad so Candy could concentrate. She pushed hard but nothing was happening. There was a gush of water, so I knew there was a puppy "ready" but it didn't appear.

Okay, time for the heavy-duty midwifery part. I will spare you the details, but it involved a surgical glove, lubricant, a very slippery puppy leg, an unhappy Candy, and a hyperventilating breeder. I kept thinking of those movies where everyone is sweating and the mother is screaming and they keep yelling PUSH! PUSH! Those movies usually end badly for the mother for some reason, so I didn't share these thoughts with Candy. Dogs are much tougher than people. She wasn't screaming or crying, but I know it wasn't the mostest favorite hour of her life.

After about 20 minutes of high drama, we produced a blue brindle boy puppy that I just knew would be dead. He gasped and a leg moved! I picked him up, cleaned the yucky stuff out of his mouth and held him upside down for awhile while more drained out of him. I rubbed him with a towel until he started to cry, held him upside down some more, and listened to him breathe. He still sounded a little "bubbly," so I shook him gently, still upside down. By now Candy wanted him back, so I turned him over to her. And thus came Razzle at 3:00 pm.

Number seven arrived half an hour later with no fanfare. This little guy was dead and beyond resuscitation. His umbilical cord had apparently detached and he didn't have a chance. These always break my heart. You just mourn for the little life that never was and the people somewhere who will never have the joy this specific little fellow would have brought them. We tried to revive him anyway, then let Candy "work" with him for a little while. I've brought many puppies around over the years, but this one just didn't have even a spark. I slipped him away from Candy while she was busy with another puppy. Walt took him later to bury him with Judy and Hamlet, the old folks we lost last year. His name was Starburst and he was a blue brindle and white puppy.

Dr. K called during this time and advised that we should get Candy in. She said the dead puppy might have been the problem and that puppies after that one might be in distress. Once more I began gathering up towels and what-not to take Candy out to the car.

But while I was still thinking about Starburst and worrying about the other two we knew were there, Candy decided to get busy with another puppy. Kisses arrived at 4:42, a tiny little girl who was ready to nurse before she was dry. She is a brindle and white who looks like paint spilled on her left side...some on her neck and some on her rump.

And at 5:30, Wonka decided to close up Puppyland and come on home. He's the puppy with the least white on him at first glance...just a dot on his neck and a little strip on his side, but he has four white socks and his tail is half white and his whole underside is as white as the top is dark.

Candy is being a very sensible but devoted mother, just the kind we like! Some of them are a little too casual about the whole affair and some are too obsessive. I guess when you think about it, they're like all moms. Some are better than others! Candy, thank goodness, is a very good one!

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