by, 10-16-2011 at 11:59 PM (1104 Views)
It was a long and rough day for Olivia on Saturday. She started to go into active labour at approximately 2p, and at 2:55p, the first baby finally arrived!!
Over the next seven hours, Olivia delivered the other six babies, all beautiful and healthy: four boys and three girls! Poor Olivia was so exhausted, at the end, she couldn't even stand up. The whole time, I just kept petting her and telling her she was halfway there, then almost done, almost done, until the final baby made its appearance at 10:17 pm.
It was bittersweet, watching Olivia becoming a mother. She cleaned her babies and laid down for them to nurse, and when she looked up at me, she had very old eyes. Until that first puppy arrived, I thought of Olivia as a puppy who happened to be pregnant. But as she lay there, exhausted, with seven new lives depending on her, she looked wise and matronly, and I mourned a bit for the puppy she was never allowed to be.
Today, Olivia would not leave her pups to eat, so I brought small portions of canned food and chicken to her, and held her bowl of water to her, so she could stay hydrated. But she is such a nice little dog, she does leave her pups when she has to go potty. She comes out of the bedroom and finds me, and we walk outside so she can potty out of the house. She has pee pads in the house, and she started by using those, but after I took her out a few times, she got the idea, and now she holds it until I let her out. She hops down about a dozen steps to get to the ground, does her business, then hops back up the same dozen steps to get back to her pups. I am hoping that the exercise is helping to strengthen her leg muscles, and building up some tone in her body. She was in very poor physical condition when she came to me, and being pregnant hasn't done her body any favours. I watched her hopping down the steps this morning, and her spine was a sharp ridge running down the center of her back.
She is very sweet around me when I "mess" with her pups. She noses at them and watches me intently if I pick one up. When I put the pup back down, she checks it carefully, but will still lick my hand afterward, as if to tell me she forgives me for my insolence. Each and every time, she forgives me.
As of today, we have all survived approximately one day in this world. We have another week or so before at least *I* feel a little more confident that everyone is okay and will probably make it to weaning! Right now, I keep fearing that one will just be dead for no reason, or that Olivia will suffocate one of them, because she doesn't seem terribly concerned about where they are when she flops down in her bed!
But for now, everyone is safe, and the puppies are all sleeping and twitching, tummies full and bodies warm, and as close to truly blissful as any animal can be.