On June 4th, 2016 we received a call about two 10-12 week old female puppies that the dog warden had just picked up, we left to pick them up right after the call. When we arrived, we were met by two very friendly Rat Terrier/Min Pin mix pups, they were bouncy and complete wiggles, giving us kisses and playing with each other. They were found by a farmer running around near his barn, the farm being out in the middle of nowhere, it is very likely they were dumped off there. On the way home we decided to name the tri-color, Cloud and the black and tan, Rain since it was raining and cloudy as we drove home.
They did wonderful on the ride home, quiet and calm. After arriving home, and a much needed bath and nail trim, they begin to settle in. They were extremely tired and slept most of that first day, and they were extremely calm, but experience told me this wouldn’t last long.
Over the next two days their energy levels and playfulness continued to increase, they were healthy, happy, and very much puppies. They slept the night through each night, which was a blessing, and unbelievably, they were house trained too, even though they had paper to go on at night, they waited until morning when I let them outside to potty. By the third day their energy levels were to max, they would play for hours, running around the house full speed playing with each other until they passed out beside me on the couch. Despite their insane energy, I couldn’t help loving these crazy girls, their personalities were highly entertaining, they just loved and lived life to the fullest!
The night of the fourth day I learned that they had been pulled by rescue and would be leaving the next day, it was hard to believe how fast the time flew by, these girls were such fun loving, silly pups that made me smile even when their energy exhausted me. I will never cease to smile whenever I think about them running full tilt around the house, one carrying a toy, the other giving chase, they were a complete joy, and one of my easiest groups, being already house trained and sleeping through the night from the beginning. They both got great homes shortly after leaving, couldn’t be happier about the outcome for these two cuties!
I was looking at the pup’s photos earlier today, then ran across this one, goodness how they have grown! They were just over two weeks old here, and all fit in that bucket with room to spare, now fitting even two puppies in there would be a challenge. Seems like just yesterday they were tiny little bundles, and now it is less than a week before we have to say goodbye… Cherish every moment, they grow up in the blink of an eye!
April 10th, 2016, we received a call from the dog wardens about five puppies they had just picked up and wanted to place in our care for an upcoming adoption event, (the pound has two adoption/fundraiser events every year, this is the one time when puppies are adopted out directly from the pound). These five Shepherd mixes had a sad past to say the least, the dog warden had received a call about five puppies that were running in the road, the caller was worried they were going to get hit. When the dog warden arrived, they found the pups had been caught by their owner, (neighbor to the caller), but wanting to know more the warden went to talk to the owner, before coming to the door however, the warden saw the puppies behind the house and it was truly a horrible sight; The puppies were in a tiny pen, barely big enough to fit two puppies much less five, and the footing under them was nothing but feces and mud, they had no water or food. The warden got the owner to sign the pups over and took them away. We were called shortly after this and went to pick them up. When we arrived, they were hiding in the back of their cage, scared and covered in mud and feces, they were a sad sight and had obviously had very little handling. After getting them home they were put straight into the tub for a much needed bath, their near panic and the almost black water running off of them told us they had never had a bath in their lives before this one. After being put into their new area, they all quickly fell asleep.
They slept most of the first day, but in the moments they were awake it became clear that their neglect went beyond just lack of handling. Because they had to fight for everything before, they all had the beginnings of food aggression, they had no idea how to share their toys or play together without fighting, leashes and collars were a strange and scary thing, and every new sound made them cower. The only good thing in all of this was the fact that they were still young enough to be worked with, though even this wasn’t ideal since they were already about 4 months old, and it wasn’t going to be as easy as it might have been with young pups. Collars were put on them directly, and they quickly begin to adjust to wearing them. They begin learning manners when eating their food, and they got to experience grass for the first time, which they loved.
By the end of the day they were already well on their way to becoming normal, happy puppies around people, trusting us a lot more. Over the next week the puppies settled into their new life, and things changed very quickly, the beginning food aggression was corrected, they stopped having fights constantly, and they begin to play together. By the end of their first week, all distrust was gone and they greeted us with wagging tails and happy faces. Their fear of new things slowly begin to diminish and they started to show interest in new things.
They had come to me for two weeks before we took them to the event, and it was amazing to see how much of a change can happen in such a short time. The event came and they did amazingly, greeting everyone with wagging tails, walking on leash like champs, and enjoying seeing all the new things. All of the puppies found homes that day too! Each and everyone of them were sitting politely for attention and everyone continually commented on their manners and friendly demeanor, no one would have believed that just two short weeks ago those same puppies were terrified and hiding from the world. Love and a little bit of work can go a long, long way!
Two days after her surgery and everything was going well. It had now been two weeks since we brought her home and she was still getting bigger! She begin sleeping almost constantly, only getting up to eat, drink, and potty. The puppies were extremely active and that was something she didn’t like, whenever they started getting too active in there, she would do what we called, “Smashing them into submission”
She did this a lot in the final days before they were born and it made us laugh every time, she was not a fan of them moving around!
The 18th was just like the day before, she slept most of the day, the pups continued to move like crazy, nothing happened that would have made me believe she was going to give birth anytime soon, when I checked on her at 3pm, she was sleeping soundly. Sometime between 3am and 6am she went into the first stage a labor; I got up just before 7am and when I came into the kitchen it was obvious she was in labor, she was shaking and had started to tear her dog bed apart, it was removed and sheets were put down for her, from there she alternated between clinging to me and digging at her bedding. About an hour later she went into full contractions, and 20mins after, we welcomed her first puppy, Ryder!
Ryder, a boy, was born at 8:25am, and was followed by his brother, Lance at 9:11am, Lance was the biggest pup, though at first they were very close to all the same size.
The first two came fast and smooth, started breathing well quickly, and the first of the new adventures started, Belle’s milk hadn’t dropped, a first for me, she had plenty, it just hadn’t dropped into the teats yet. After some work, I got the pups to latch onto the teats, and just like that, the milk came flowing! It turns out she needed one to suckle before it let down, so we worked on moving the pups between teats while we waited for the next pup.
Then came Ariel at 9:59am, she came out with sack and umbilical cord already detached, and after getting her started it was clear she had gotten some fluid in her lungs, so I continued to work on her as we waited, she stayed congested and not going well for a bit, but after a half hour of rubbing and clearing, she begin to cry and sound normal… Then we had another problem, after she started crying, she wouldn’t stop! It wasn’t normal puppy noises either, it was a high pitched screaming cry that was extremely stressful on us all, it was so bad we thought at first she was dying, but after some licking by mom and being held close, she slowly stopped crying and I put her down to nurse, which she begin doing and was fine after that, to this day I still don’t know what caused her to do that, I am just glad she wasn’t dying even if she sounded like she was!
Next came Belle’s second girl, Jasmine at 10:37am, thankfully a normal birth without compilations. At 11:44am, another girl arrived, tragically, she was stillborn and had been deceased for somewhere around a day, there was no saving her, it hit me hard as this was the first stillborn pup I had ever had, though with the size of Belle’s litter, it wasn’t too surprising. The normal reactions of, “Did I do something wrong” or “Could I have prevented this” was in my mind for a few hours, but I took comfort in the fact that it was simply the Lord’s will. She was buried in a sunny, peaceful place.
Just minutes after the stillborn girl, another, thankfully very healthy girl arrived: Aurora was born at 11:58am, a easy birth. After a long wait, or better known in whelping language as, “The Whelping Pause” where the mother is changing to the other horn, we welcomed another girl, Giselle at 1:10pm, the remaining pups to be born all came quickly and there were no more compilations from here, we were about 5 hours into the whelp by this point and Belle was quite tired, but still going steady and she had settled down to simply pushing them out and nursing her current ones. 8mins after Giselle, King arrived, he was born at 1:18pm.
Natalia, another girl, arrived at 2:52pm, followed by her sister, Tiara at 3:22pm. Their brother, Flynn was born at 3:36pm, the smallest of the litter.
By this time Belle was exhausted and napped between pups as best as she could, she got some water and Nutri-Cal at this time which helped, she also went out for a quick potty break, she was a smart girl and knew the difference between puppy pressure and needing to pee, which makes we wonder if she had a litter before this.
At 5:37pm, Prince was born. I was tired by this point, but I can only imagine what it must have felt like for Belle, both of us kept going though! She was doing great through this all. Her last pup, Spade, was born at 8:08pm, being born is hard work obviously because the little guy fell asleep in my hands after getting dried off, it was a precious moment.
It took just shy of 12 hours to deliver the entire litter. I stayed at her side for several hours after to make sure there were no more pups on the way, but four hours of waiting and it was clear she was done. Then from there I left her alone for a few minutes before we settled in for the night. She cared for them well through the night and didn’t leave their side for a moment, she was exhausted, but still perfectly attentive to their needs, she took great comfort in my presence, and during those first few days looked to me often, I think the sudden amount of pups was a bit much, but she did just fine and learned the order of things quickly. I looked forward to the days ahead.
Now in truth, this story could easily fill an entire book, so I may end up putting this one into several parts so none of the story is missed. I might just go ahead and instead of waiting for next week, post each part the day after, so tomorrow and continue if I need to break it down into more parts. Let me know what you guys think! 🙂
On December 2nd, 2015 we received a call from the dog warden: They had just picked up a very pregnant dog, the dog who would soon after be named Belle by us had shown up at a kind lady’s house two days before, and after Belle stayed around, the lady, fearing Belle might have her puppies outside, called the dog wardens. Because of the location where Belle was found, (open fields with one house for miles) it is likely she was dumped off there. We went directly to pick her up after the call and from the moment we first met her she was the sweetest girl, begging for belly rubs and giving kisses. Even though she was over 50lbs, Belle did her very best to lay in my lap on the way home, after arriving she got a bath and nail trim, then slept in front of the couch for a few hours, poor girl was exhausted!
When we first met her, we noticed a hard lump on the side of her face, (which you can actually see somewhat in the photo above, just under her ear) however it didn’t seem to bother her at all when we messed with it, and with her being so close to delivery, it was agreed on that we would wait and watch, I make mention of this because it will have a part in the story which I will be talking about here a bit later. Belle begin to settle in and did wonderfully her first night, she was eating and drinking well, and getting used to the new place quickly.
For the next week she continued to settle in and get to know us and her surroundings, we were in shock that she was still holding those puppies in! We thought she was huge when we first brought her home, but she kept getting bigger by the day, the fact that she had managed to hold them in for a week amazed us as by this point she could barely stand with all the puppies inside. She had settled in well by this point and she loved her whelping room, we had several false starts, restless behavior, some panting, but nothing really happening yet, so the wait continued.
Five days after her first week with us, we noticed the lump on her face had changed, it was now no longer rock hard, but instead slightly squishy feeling, shortly after noting this change, she happened to yawn while facing me, and I saw some kind of blackish tube shaped object sticking out of the side of her cheek on the inside, then we also noticed she was having nasty smelling, off-colored drool: We called and got a vet appointment setup right away. After arriving at the vets it became clear the object wasn’t going to come out without surgery, and with infection already present, we had no choice but to take her to surgery, thankfully we were allowed to be with Belle during the procedure so got to see the whole mystery behind the lump on her face unfold. Shortly after the surgery begin the vet pulled a large broadhead arrow out of her face, we were all in shock, never in a million years would we have guessed that would be the cause of the lump! The vet said it was a first in his 20+ years as a vet, so not something one sees everyday. In the end, the vet believed it had shifted and came out into her mouth, releasing the infection and making it possible for us to see the shaft of the arrow, which made since as it hadn’t been visible inside her mouth before that morning! Belle came around quickly and after getting back home, spent the rest of the day resting under our watchful eye. This was just the beginning of the surprises that were in store for us in the coming days…
In late September of 2015 we brought home Sparky, a young male Chihuahua; Sparky had been found running loose and no owner showed up looking for him. We decided to bring him home after learning the dog pound’s kennels were all being redone and all dogs had to be out of the pound, most went to rescue quickly or were adopted, but little Sparky was overlooked for some reason. We couldn’t say no after meeting this sweet boy.
From the moment he arrived home, he was nothing but energy! This crazy pup was all over the place, and he never seemed to tire out, but in the rare moments when he was still, he loved to snuggle and give kisses. Some dogs require quite a bit of time to adjust, but Sparky was one of those rare exceptions, he settled in instantly. He only stayed a couple days before leaving for a great home, but his time with us was filled with fun and happiness, he was a ray of sunshine, there was no way one could be down with this happy little guy around! He was a joy and I am glad to have been able to help this little guy on his way.