The C Litter is here. They are noisy, wiggly, and full of life. Well at least the EIGHT girls are. The one lone boy is lying low, as if he knows he has already lost this battle. I don’t want to mislead you he is the biggest and is healthy and all but he knows that growing up with eight Sabina sisters is going to be hard. I think he is saving his strength.

Now we know that the nose was right it was puppy smell. (I have no idea why I would doubt it.) Last night Sabina did not want to sleep in the whelp box, because that was about 2 inches too far away from me. I set up another sleeping bag next to mine and invited her over. That lasted about 20 minutes until she decided that she should sleep ON me, while I was sleeping ON the air mattress. From 9 pm until about 3 am she slept off and on, always on me. There was a little bit of restlessness but mainly resting up. At 3 she was up and had a determined look about her. However she does have her manners (she was taught well) and didn’t actually start to have puppies until 6:30. The whelper-helpers got the call exactly 2 minutes before their alarm was scheduled to go off anyway. Dave got a full night sleep in the big boy bed – yep she is a considerate girl that Sabina.

From then on it was sort of a whirlwind. Our very efficient mama delivered 9 puppies in three hours. This is very important because the x-ray she had on Friday told us to expect 8-9 puppies. We like it when we get everyone out and accounted for. We were a little shocked to have so many girls but secretly happy too. We have asked to raise a pup out of this litter and since we can only raise a girl pup, and because the last litter was all boys, we were tickled!

Also because this was a Sabina litter it had to have its twists and turns. By 9:20 Sabina had delivered 8 puppies. Ten minutes later she delivered puppy number 9, which was stillborn. There it is, the sad truth about whelping puppies, from time to time there are stillborn puppies or puppies that only live a short time after being born. It breaks your heart but in the case of dogs there are often other pups that need to be tended to and the breeder caretaker has to move on, because mama dog has.

I am a firm firm believer that things happen for a reason, even the ones that seem unexplainable or un-understandable. In this case I think that it is better that a puppy be stillborn or pass away quickly if that is to be its fate, with me and Sabina rather than when it is with a puppy raiser or heaven forbid a graduate. It isn’t that it doesn’t make me sad, it is just that it is better for the puppy to pass quickly than live a sickly life. It is most assuredly better for it to pass when it is with me than when it is with its forever partner.

When you are finished delivering your litter you call in to CCI and let them know how many, how it went, the sex of the puppies and you get your litter letter – we are C. Usually you get direction to give the breeder a shot to encourage some final contractions to move out any other fluids or matter from the pregnancy. We made that call about 9:45, gave the shot, and started the clean up process.

Sabina is a very very attentive mom and doesn’t like to be away from her wards long. Unless of course the brief mama break includes food. About 10:30 it was time for her to take a breakfast and hurry break. She was out back with Dave for quite a while so I went to check on them only to be met by Dave rushing in the back door carrying a screaming, wiggly pup. Apparently those clean out shots really work, we didn’t even know she was in there!

Now everyone is all cleaned up and snuggling in the whelping box. “Grandpa Dave” is mercifully sitting with the puppies so I can take a hot shower and grab a nap.

Welcome to the world C Litter of aspiring service dogs, it is nice to finally meet you.