Our First Litter
- June 17th 2003 -
On a crisp cold winter evening last year, Lulu went into labor and delivered her first pup - without even knowing it. She had just turned three years old and this was her maiden (first) litter.
My wife Leslie and I had returned form a brief walk with Pasha and Lulu that afternoon and I checked her temperature for signs of impending labor. Based on the sudden drop in temperature and her anxious circling motions we knew that she was about to go into labor. I put her back into her whelping box and went in the house to get a cup of coffee. With Coffee and blankets in hand I prepare for the nights vigil. As I opened the door and as if on-queue, I heard what sounded like bucket of water being kicked over. First a thud and then the splash of water. Lulu Looked as puzzled as I was as she turned around . In that moment we booth just stared at what looked like a squirming shiny wet sausage. Quickly I bent over and broke the embryonic sack, swiftly cutting the umbilical cord and presenting the new born puppy to it's mother. Lulu at first just walked away, but I followed, still presenting the pup to her. Clearly confused, she tentatively sniffed the pup. Within moments those deep Sarplaninac instincts kicked in and she bent down and began to enthusiastically lick the strange newborn alien clean. I knew then and there that Lulu was going to be great mother . From that moment on she took over the whole process, licking and breaking all the embryonic sacs and chewing off the umbilical cords like she had done this many-at-time.
And you might like to know that the little sausage I mentioned would later go on to be know as Miska, a big beautiful girl who you can see in the "puppies new homes page".
Miska was the first of a total of eleven puppies and I would like to say that the rest was smooth sailing but it wasn't. At about nine thirty that night, four hours into the labor), Lulu had given birth to five pups but had now stopped contracting and was looking tired and uncomfortable. We could tell that she was not finished but we let her work through the situation as best she could.
My wife Leslie and I stayed with her through the night and it was not until about 1:30 in the morning that she started to go into contractions again and a little later we saw what the problem was; a huge male puppy had gotten stuck in the uterine cavity and we could tell by the green umbilical fluid he had been stuck there for a while. He was not moving and neither Lulu with her furious licking or my wife and I with our desperate massaging could revive the limp pup.
Lulu slowly managed to bring another five puppies into the world that night but the last pup ( another male) had also died in the womb, this one had drowned in his umbilical fluids waiting around for his turn to be born. Sadly the long wait had taken it's toll on the later puppies and we lost one more pup ( a female) during the night.
When it was all over, Lulu finished giving birth at eight thirty in the morning and had eight healthy hungry puppies to show for her efforts. This was Lulu's first litter and she had given birth to eleven puppies that night . She had endured it all without a whimper of complaint and was attending her puppies care and affection. Now it was time for every one to get some sleep. With all eight surviving puppies suckling and content, Leslie and I turned out the lights and let Mom and her new family get acquainted.