Monday, May 23, 2005


Very early Sunday morning Crunch became a proud papa again.

As detailed here and here he had a rendezvous with the fair Fiona. His little adventure has resulted in seven puppies, four girls and three boys. (Pictures will be later this week)

The last couple of litters at Diane’s (Crunch and John’s breeder) have been all male. Which has been a bit of a disappointment when you and all the prospective homes have been wanting a female pup. Finally the string of all male litters was broken.

When I told Nate the news his first question was “Do we get one?” He was disappointed when I told him no, we already have enough dogs and I really could not deal with another puppy.

Sadly, the excitement of the litter was tempered by disaster. Fiona did not make it. She had given her all for her puppies.

Her contractions started about 10:30 pm Saturday. Around an hour or so later her water broke and everything seemed to be proceeding normally. But the puppies were not forthcoming. Diane called the Vet and arranged to meet him at the clinic in half an hour for a c-section. The preferred Vet was on call and had been alerted earlier about the impending litter. He is very experienced, capable and has worked on Diane’s dogs before.

While Fiona was under, her heart had stopped beating. They were able to bring her back twice, but she never resumed breathing. She was gone.

Diane called me at a little past 8:00 am Sunday morning to give me the news. She had emailed me the previous night about the start of the contractions so I was expecting her call. I just didn’t expect the news. She was tired and told me the good news then the bad. I was stunned. She went on to say how the Vet said he couldn’t even remember the last time he had lost a bitch during a c-section. He told her right off it was not her fault. She had done everything right. While we talked I was wishing I could help her out. It is a daunting task to hand rear seven puppies. Diane said I shouldn’t tell the kids the bad news, but I did. I think that they should learn about the good and the bad. At some point they would hear about it anyway and I want to be truthful and on the level with them. How can I ask them to be truthful if I’m not honest with them? They were saddened, but they bounced right back.

Fortunately, Diane had another litter that had been whelped a week and half earlier. The dam, Willow, has taken in the puppies. She is a long haired dachshund with her own litter of three. Diane will still have to supplement the pups, but Willow is cleaning them and being a good foster mother.

The puppies are strong and vigorous. Hopefully they will remain that way.

This is why I couldn’t be a breeder. Oh, I dabble with it by having a stud dog, but right now I couldn’t handle the heartbreak that can come with whelping puppies. There is the risk of losing one or all the puppies and as detailed above, sometimes the dam.

I know it doesn’t happen all the time. Puppies are born every day with out any problems. But it can happen. I wish I could help out, but all I can do is be a friendly voice on the other end of the line.

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