The puppies are doing very well as is momma Anna. We still have the little one that is hanging on, but she is so very small compared to the others and she was the one stuck in the birth canal a long time, so I am guarded as to her potential survival. This line is my best herding/working line, also incredible in structure and movement. That said, the girls always take their time having their puppies. Anna is my 3rd generation since 1997, so I know the line well! Never a problem with contractions, just how LONG they take to have their puppies. Anna has had one litter before -in November of 2006, a long time ago in dog years! In her first litter she had 10 puppies.....over a 24 hour period! UGH! Her mother's sister once had a litter of 3 puppies.....then TWO days later delivered the last 2 in the litter!
This time Anna took her time and drove me nuts. The first 2 puppies delivered within 1 hour of each other, but BOTH were feet-first breech births. Those are VERY hard presentations for the mom! Both were boys, born at 9 and 10 pm Friday night. Then nothing........she slept, cared for her 2 boys, slept more. I stayed up with her all night of course and got no sleep. At 4am she delivered a puppy with a disconnected umbilical, so probably got caught up with other puppies in there. Sadly, the little girl was DOA. I was so dismayed, and began to get worried. But, at 6am, contractions began again and a healthy screaming boy was born without incident!
Since Rick was home and is GREAT with birthing animals, and Anna was once again resting, I decided to take the girls to the last big dog show of the year only 30 minutes away as planned. I kept my cell phone on me, rushed to the show grounds, ran into the show ring, ran back out and drove home. I was gone for maybe an hour and a half! I kept in touch with Rick and Anna was still just resting and feeding her babies. So I unloaded the girls, changed clothes, and sat with Anna. By 1pm I was not only tired but telling Anna I was getting tired of waiting and starting to worry if the other 3 in there were alive. I now always take a pregnant mom in for an x-ray before birthing due date - it will help you make informed decisions! And worth every penny as these puppies are precious lives! I called the vet, told the details, and said I wanted to come in and check the heartbeats on the remaining 3. The ultrasound showed 3 heartbeats - 2 very strong and 1 a little weak as it was sitting in the birthing canal........not a good place to be waiting. We decided on going for the c-section, and I'm glad we did. 3 girls were waiting in there. The one in the birth canal was the very tiny girl - all the others weighed 350 - 400 grams but this girl was a tiny 250 grams. No wonder Anna was 'stalled' - it was so tiny it didn't stimulate the birth canal hardly at all!
She's a tiny girl and it took a very long time to revive her. Because of this, she may also not be a 100% baby either. Not all babies are perfect, and we are wrong to assume all will be! It's impossible to know at this time if she had any oxygen deprivation or if she was ever meant to be in the first place. She is often on her side as the others crawl on their bellies to eat, so it's possible she wasn't meant to be with us long. I am making sure she gets plenty to eat. So only time will tell. I hope she's going to make it, but I am not God nor do I play Him on any television shows. Only He knows if she is a temporary gift!
So you could say this weekend, along with the "Ram Lamb Affair", was a very loooooooooooong weekend! By yesterday I was exhausted with little sleep for days, but this is the life I chose and I am happiest here with my animals. There will be time later to catch up on sleep. I'll take photos of the new kids when I'm sure we've made it over the hump. They are all white teddy bears right now anyways, since ACD puppies are born white then color in weeks later. Off to check on the little one.