Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Whelping Process...

“We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” -Paulo Coelho

Yesterday brought an unexpected surprise. A “right place at the right time” moment. A morning run with Jen started late (which is unusual), then we ran back to her house (which is unusual), and her neighbor’s dog was giving birth (which is quite unusual).

So everything was off by a bit but aligned perfectly so that I was on Stacia Drive at the moment this cute brittany spaniel was delivering her litter of six whelps. And I called Paige to come quick and observe the miracle of birth.

Jen and I arrived just after the third puppy made his debut after which the bitch (correct terminology for the pregnant female dog and that’s what they were calling her) took a little time in between (which gave Paige time to join our fairly large stream of spectators - poor dog!) The woman, who had assisted with multiple dogs giving birth, kept the eager kids somewhat subdued and we waited for number four.

A dog makes labor and delivery look relatively simple. Their natural instincts kick in and the dog can pretty much do everything without assistance. It’s incredible to watch how they push out a tiny puppy, chew apart the cord, lick the membrane clean until the new puppy wiggles about. Then the pup latches on to a nipple and starts sucking while the mom prepares to do it all again.

A newborn puppy isn’t quite as amazing as a newborn baby but it’s still fascinating to see. It’s definitely a memorable occurrence; a process I’d never viewed before. In fact, the last birth I watched (well, attended) was the delivery of Paige (which was all quite smooth for a baby, but unlike a dog, I did require some assistance - though minimal). So, it appears that female dogs are truly a little more independent than women (or at least me)!