We had an early Christmas present this year! Actually ten presents...
Is there anything sweeter than a newborn baby at Christmas?!
Paisley went into labor in the afternoon of the 23rd and she delivered her first puppy at 4:30 am on the 24th. All ten puppies had arrived by 10:30 am. Paisley is a champ!
We have a few favorite whelping tricks. Paisley refused to eat or drink water starting the 23rd which can lead to exhaustion and dehydration with a long labor. We found that if we offer beef broth every hour or so she will stay hydrated and keep enough energy to make it through delivery. Some dogs like to hide or be alone when they deliver. Paisley is not like that. She insisted on having either Fonda or I hold her head on our lap while she was delivering and she kept us right by her side throughout her labor. We can't resist those chocolate brown puppy dog eyes!
After nine puppies, Paisley took a break, went outside and and ate a small meal of her favorite canned dog food and then settled down to nurse her babies. We could feel one more pup waiting to make her appearance. An hour and a half later, she finally got down to business pushing again. We moved the nine pups out of the way (in the warming box) so she could safely turn and pace. We could see the last pup stubbornly refusing to make her appearance with her little paw stuck up next to her head. Finally, with a bit of gentle pulling assistance, the last girl (the biggest of the litter!) delivered at 10:30 am.
Paisley is a great, attentive mom. The puppies are roly-poly and nursing around the clock.
Paisley has lots of help from 'Aunt Chloe' when it comes to bath time! Chloe hovers around the whelping box--she won't let Toby (the male golden retriever in the house) anywhere near the puppies and she climbs right in next to Paisley during and after feedings. Puppies need to be licked by their mama to stimulate elimination for the first couple of weeks. Paisley seems more than happy to have the help!
Dew claws were removed on day three. We expect eyes to start opening in a couple of weeks and then we will start taking individual pictures. Until then we are enjoying the miracle of new life!