Yesterday, just as I had marked our calendar, we welcomed 7 puppies to our family.
The night before I spent on the couch in the puppies’ nursery together with Elsa. She was restless and I could tell it would not be long now before she would be giving birth. However, nothing happened overnight. On Thursday morning it was obvious to me that I now had to pay close attention. Around 10 A.M. I sat in front of the whelping box when Elsa started having contractions and ten minutes later a little female puppy was born. I had hoped all other puppies would follow soon after, but that was not to be.
My good friend and neighbor Teresa came to help out and to keep me company. Benno was sent off to watch TV and later on he busied himself in the kitchen. I became concerned after a couple of hours when Elsa had no more contractions. That was when I started looking for answers in Google and what to do. When it came close to 3 1/4 hours with nothing happening I got close to panic and called our Veterinarian and he said I had to come in right away with Elsa to have her x-rayed to see if she needed a cesarean section done. In haste I ordered Benno to get the car in front of our door “Pronto”, packed Reggy into the smaller travel kennel and loaded him into the rear of our truck cab. Elsa I held on my towel covered lap on the front seat together with the little puppy wrapped up in a tea towel, Benno stepped on the gas like a Formula 1 Racer and off we went leaving a cloud of dust behind us. Almost half way to the Vet’s clinic Elsa started to get contractions and birthed another puppy right on my lap. Quickly Benno turned the truck around and raced back home. (Well, we stayed somewhat with the speed limit) Arriving back home Benno honked the horn wildly and Teresa, who had been in her garden, came right running over to hold the two puppies while I attended to Elsa. The rest of the afternoon dragged on as the rest of the puppies slowly took their time to come out. At around 6 P.M. we counted 4 girls and 3 boys in the whelping box and Elsa seemed content.
What a day. To all this excitement I am in constant contact with my mom in Germany, my dad (93 years old) had another stroke a few days ago (the 3rdone) and is in a coma in Hamburg’s University Hospital. It does not look good.
I spent another night on the couch close to the whelping box to make sure the pups were cared for and if needed I would feed them mixed up powdered milk to supplement their nourishment. Today, Friday, pups and mom are doing fine. Elsa has been cleaned up and so is the whelping box. The puppy family is now getting into a routine of feeding about every two hours, followed by Elsa licking all of the pups clean and napping the rest of the time. She needs lots of extra food and liquids to make sure the pups get the benefit of it, so I will do my best to keep the food supply flowing.
The extra combined weight of the puppies and fluid was about a kilo and a half Elsa had to carry. The second pup born had a longer body than the rest of them. Just as with Elsa’s first set of litter, we have one puppy with a brown coat and it is also a girl. (Elsa’s father was brown) And we have again one puppy with a white stripe on its belly. The different coloured Velco bands around their necks have the purpose that I don't get them mixed up as I weigh them every day to make sure they are getting enough milk to drink.
And no surprise, all puppies are absolutely gorgeous and cute!