by Lynn Dee Galey
It was over a year ago that the juggling in my head of pedigrees and talents landed on breeding my Annie to Firelight KM Tip. Both dogs were escorted to their respective vets for orthopedic xrays and cleared that hurdle easily with OFA ratings of Excellent/Normal and Good/Normal. Back to the vets in January to verify clear of brucellosis and overall excellent health. Eight and a half weeks ago a 16 hour drive through snowy whiteouts and then breeding maiden dogs outdoors as another foot of snow fell didn't stop us from achieving the actual breeding.
Annie knew that she was pregnant by the time we got back home. Subtle signs were there and by week 4 - 5 she had me convinced as well. With only days now until the pups arrive she lays beneath the table at my feet, not wanting me out of her sight, and her normally slim athletic body is round and full.
- whelping box disinfected and placed in puppy room
- heated nest install into box and tested
- new sofa for naps (me!) and overnight supervision as needed
- new monitor/camera to replace my 1970's static-maker so I can sleep in my own bed yet keep an eye on things in the puppy room
- side box and heat lamp to temporarily hold pups while Annie is still busy
- call vet to make sure they are available. This was a big one this year. The one downside to having wonderful vets who are themselves bird dog breeders and hunters is that once a year they close shop and travel to their major breed event. When they told me they would be gone from Weds - Sun my heart skipped a beat. I rarely need vet assistance in whelping but when I need one, I really need one. I totally lucked out though as one of the hunters who is on the list for a pup is a vet and he generously agreed to be available to Annie and I if needed. He is kind, experienced and knows me and my dogs. Whew.
- I have ample calcium and pedialyte here if Annie needs them during whelping
- refrigerator is stocked with food for myself and Annie so I don't have to drag my sleep-deprived self out into public for a bit
- there is a stack of clean "dog" towels ready to use
- the usual equipment of scale, suction, clamps, etc are at hand
- to be done this afternoon is to scissor down Annie's lovely feathering for hygiene and preventing puppies from getting tangled
- my well worn dog reproduction book is at hand although I have read and re-read it so many times that I quote much of it. My favorite section addresses the difficulty of being patient once the dog starts the earliest signs of labor. It says to begin reading a mystery novel and that about when you get to the who-dun-it part the puppies might be ready to arrive. Now where did I leave that new novel that I want to read......
At the request of many friends and followers I continue to chronicle the process of producing my next litter of Firelights. Send us good wishes and stay tuned.....