The pups have arrived
Valentine day and the pups are here. Tess went into labour at 10pm the previous day - panting and scratching - then at 4.30 the first one popped out followed by another and another until the last one was born at 05.45 hours. Initially we have given them nicknames to identify them. Unfortunately we lost two - the first one was a breech - poor Tess - just couldn't get it out in time then there was no life in the second to last pup. But no time to dwell - there is no choice as breeder and Tess' main supporter it is imperative that we don't dwell on the pups that didn't draw breath. So Tess was given lots and lots of praise from the first pup onwards. And she is a natural, cleaned them all - licking them - instinct is an amazing thing. Then at 9am on St Valentine's day I phoned the vet for general advice. So Tess and pups (who were put in a nice warm wicker basket with heat pad) visited the Vet. All pups and Tess were checked over - pups have no problems with their pallette, good sucking reflex on all and Tess although exhausted has a clean bill of health. Back home we go.
Tess and the pups are my first priority - Tess having plenty of food - and feeding the pups really well. She doesn't like leaving her new family but she goes outside to have a wee and poo. As she is feeding her family she needs to have regular meals. Its also very important to keep an eye on the dam to monitor for any signs of mastitis, I am monitoring all the pups, so far all is well, no flaggin pups, phew!!! Today 48 hours later they have regained their birth weight and have lovely pink noses.
But that's not all - day one I did three lots of washing. Yesterday and today I have done just two lots of washing. They need to have their bedding changed daily. Cleanliness at this stage is particularly important - the pups are only just building up their immune system - luckily Tess is providing antibodies via her own milk. They squeak and are rolling around well. Interspersed with periods of sleep - which is also Tess's resting time.
Our other dog Georgie is keep away - this might seem mean, but its important that Tess has time to bond with her new family and also that they are not exposed to any bad micro-organisms. I have let them meet in the garden but Tess only wants to get back to her family. But I think that Georgie understands this and has been taken out for some long walks each day but my husband and daughter Mea. No doubt Georgie will be looking forward to meeting her new Grandpups in due course, possibly when they are around 4 or 5 weeks old.
Tess is my main priority as are the pups - they have my undivided attention as such I am sleeping downstairs on the settee - as Tess likes to go outside to do her business and I don't want her to hang on and get uncomfortable. So we go out in the garden at night 2am and 4.30am last night and the night before. This is our time together, we sit and look at the stars for a minute or two - all is quiet then back indoors to the pups.