Saturday, September 20, 2008

midwife duties!!!!

As some of you already know... one thing that is on my "list of favorite things to do".. is to play puppy midwife!!! It is so hard to describe how wonderful it is to watch a new life appear on this earth... especially when "it" is one of my most favorite animals... mainly dogs!!! Last spring I had the great pleasure of assisting my friend Julie and her German Shorthair Pointer with puppies... and I was just thrilled when my friend Mary contacted me late in August to ask if I might be interested in helping her with her Chesapeake Bay Retriever... Rosie. I couldn't wait for the big event.

Then came that "wonderful" little notice with regards to jury duty, and I had great fears that I might have to miss Rosie's puppies coming into the world!!!! Mary wisely made up a list of "people to call", putting my name last, because I just couldn't promise her that I would be there when she needed me. But the Good Lord must have seen that my "services" where better needed for puppies, because last Monday when I reported for jury duty... I did not get picked for any of the three trials that were coming up. I contacted Mary and said I would love to be at the top of the "call list" as the week that the puppies were due.. I would be totally free.

Thursday evening, both Mary and I had our local (dog) club meeting. Rosie was in the "getting ready mode" (not eating great, temperature dropping, out of sorts) and Mary thought that she might be needing me soon. As I was traveling home from the meeting, Mary called on the cell phone... looked like the time was getting close and would I head to her house.

My first "drawback" about now living out in the country... you have to really think about travel time... at the "old" house, most everything was minutes away... but "out here" most everything is a half hour to an hour drive, and with the idea of puppies coming who knows when... I hustled along. When I arrived, Rosie was definitely looking "ready".. I felt pretty sure that we would have puppies by 3:00 am.. so I settled into Mary's guest room for a short snooze. A few times in the night, we were up with Rosie... things looking promising.. and then she would settle down and look at all of us like "why are you all up in the middle of the night". This is Rosie first litter, and often times with a young dog and a "first timer" they will and can fight off labor pains, not understanding what it is all about... so, you often have "long nights" with them. Well, Thursday turned into Friday with no puppies.

I thought about heading home Friday morning, but each time I thought I would leave, Rosie would start in again, and I just didn't want to miss out. So, it looked like I would just be camping out with Mary and "her" Ed until the big event. All of Friday day was off and on.. as a rule, most dogs I have worked with never have "daytime puppies".. so it was pretty sure that I would be staying over another evening. I have to say, Mary and Ed took "very good care of me".... I was "spoiled" with all kinds of good eats, and it was wonderful to have such a nice long visit with them both. Mary and I have been friends for longer than I can think, but with our busy lives, we seldom have the chance to sit and talk about anything and everything... you can easily do that when waiting for puppies, and we certainly did. I had a great chance to talk with her Ed as well, I have always liked Ed very much and it was great fun to hear more about his life... he has some very interesting stories to share.

FINALLY around 7:00 pm (Friday) Rosie had to give into "her job". And her first little puppy was born around 7:30.. a beautiful little girl. Though the first couple of puppies were a little scary for poor Rosie, by the time the third one came, she now knew her "job" and really got to work. She was wonderful to midwife for.. and by 3:00 am (Saturday) morning.. Rosie, Mary and Ed (& Luke - the daddy dog) were now the proud parents of 8 beautiful puppies... 5 boys and 3 girls!!!!

Needless to say, we were all pretty tired by that point and time. Mary and Ed took shifts sleeping by the whelping box and
making sure that Rosie and her new family were settled and doing well... I crashed in Ed's big chair for a few hours.... just too tired to drive home.

I woke around 6:00 am (Saturday), and found Mary snoozing by the box... Rosie greeted me with a tired, but very proud look, and 8 little puppies were all cuddled in with their mom... it was an amazing sight. I bid them a quiet farewell, and snuck out of the house. The sun was just rising and it was a nice ride home after such an amazing couple of days. I doubt I will ever get tired of watching the miracle of birth.

I was happy to catch another few hours of sleep in my own bed. "My Ed" was happy to have me back home..... being the great guy that he is... he had "ran" the farm in my absence... tending to the horses.. the dogs, and still keeping the work crews on task with the house project. He is so supportive of me when I am running off and doing things like this....... (thank you so much sweetheart!!!)

I spoke with Mary later this afternoon... "everyone" is doing well.... it will be so much fun to watch these little "guys" grown over the next couple of months..... I will keep you posted....