This piece was written last March just after the arrival of the puppies.
Everything kicked off last Tuesday. Winnie started digging. Just sporadically at first but steadily building in determination and intensity. By Friday morning she was more than half way to Australia:).
I had waited for this day with a mixture of excitement and anxiety since last January. The anxiety, perhaps , was a hangover from the loss of Breeze last October. Something like labour would not have cost me a thought a year ago especially as I am a trained midwife.Now,I fretted and worried over everything so I thought it best to remove myself in the early stages, go for coffee and leave Winnie in peace.
I need not have worried, true to form Winnie handled everything with the style and aplomb she has coped with everything in life.. dogged determination.By 7pm on Friday evening she was again proud mum to four beautiful puppies.
This time the mix is split equally between the sexes . Amazingly, although it is a repeat of the last breeding, they are very different . The biggest is a bitch and the smallest a dog but all weighing in at a healthy 400-450grams. I have to say I was somewhat relieved to see that neither of the bitches look like Breeze as I really don’t want to have this little girl puppy live in her shadow.
Now 3 days on they continue to thrive gaining weight steadily and feeding with gusto. Winnie has been a good mother to her previous litters and is proving to be again. She has the right mix of concern and attentiveness balanced with the sense to allow certain human visitors close but not too close. She generally stays bound to the whelping box for the first 4 days only coming out to toilet and then returning quickly, does a head count and settles back in . After this initial period she relaxes her guard to lie outside the box and slowly extends her leave as the puppies get stronger but will continue to clean up after them and stand for feeding right up until 8 week,if allowed.
I am thoroughly looking forward to the next 8 weeks. I generally only breed a litter of puppies to bring a dog on for myself ,which is normally about every 3 years. What had sprung from devastation last year, following Breeze’s death, has turned into a tiny miracle for which I am truly thankful.
Well done to my beautiful Winnie.
Copyright Riverrunchesapeakes 2012