Sunday, 30 January 2011

Puppy journey

When we bought our terrier bitch Jense four and a half years ago, it was always a thought that one day we would allow her to have a litter of puppies.

Bitches come into season once every six months, so the window of opportunity to actually mate your canine friend is relatively small. Our biggest and most difficult task was actually finding a suitable mate, that was firstly of the look we wanted (rough haired and similar to Jen), and secondly a mate that was 'all male' (you would not believe the number of potential suitors out there with their manly tackle removed).
I scouted all over the local area, cunningly trying to suss out all potential victims, even resorted to leaving a note under the collar of one rather attractive dog chained up in the foyer of Sainsbury's (no response there)!
It was last September that a lead came to light whilst we were at the Wychwood Forest Fair. To cut a long story short, a couple with a pair of lovely terriers (tack removed), suggested a local guy (no luck there), who suggested another local guy (Jim Downs). We in fact bought Jense from Jim, so a complete circle has been done there.
Jim had the perfect dog.....(with bits)!
Tiger (stud dog)

 Jen came into season at that time (great timing)! The most fertile period for a bitch is supposed to be between 9-12 days after they start bleeding. We introduced Tiger on day 6, but Jen was definitely NOT interested. On day 8 Tiger was more interested in me,  9, a little interest from Jen, 10 hey presto!

We were not certain that Jen had become pregnant until about week 4 when her nipples darkened and appeared slightly bigger. 9 weeks later, and I engaged in my role as midwife......
Jens waters broke at around 11pm on my bed (Tim's side). I had actually thought that Ruby had wet the bed as she had crept in. But on close inspection it was very much mucus and Ruby was out of the frame. So where was Jen? For the three weeks previous, I had suspected that she wanted to birth her babies under the bed and that was exactly where she was. The question was how to get a dog in the midst of contractions out from under the bed without upsetting her? Well, I had to call Tim in from the garage. He was reluctant to help as it was his 'car' night! We had to literally take the bed apart to  remove the poor darling. She was most annoyed, but it really wouldn't have been practical to have puppies under the bed and the initial mess would have ruined the carpet (rental house).
We watched with excitement as Jen experienced contractions. Her tail clearly lifted and she bore down each time. I cannot imagine why but we thought the birth would happen straight away. Not the case! I sat and slept next to her whelping box whilst the rest of the family slept close by.The first pup arrived at about 1.30 am. Jen birthed with ease and no sound. The little bundle slipped from within her and lay helpless on the soft surface of the box. Jen proceeded to clean up the rather disgusting looking green mess (afterbirth) and then moved onto opening the little sack which contained her new born baby. The licking of its fur and tugging motion of the umbilical corn stirred the pup into life. The first baby had been born.
The second addition arrived about an hour later and once again our lovely dog knew exactly what to do. Feeling confident that all was well I took to bed myself.
When I awoke another pup had joined the team!

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