Puppy Love

Bronwyn Eichbaum

I was madly head over heels in love with Donny Osmond when I was a young girl.  His hit song 'Puppy Love' keeps ringing through my head as my family and I find ourselves in one of the most incredible journeys of raising a littler.

We've always had female dogs, and always kind of regretted not letting them have pups.  I'm sure lots of you feel the same, and have been through the same emotions.  Well, take it from me - don't do it!

Don't get me wrong - this is one of the highlights of our lives, and oh my these puppies are the most adorable creatures you could ever meet.  11 little bundles of fur running to bite your ankles when you walk in the door. (once I've changed in to my puppy pen wardrobe options of course)

We re-homed a beautiful failed farm dog called Poi not so long ago.  Only to be told one week later that she had a litter on board.  So that was that - we were going to go for it.  After a long chat with the family, it was decided that we would all be up for it - and that we have.

I'm super proud of us all really.  Because it's bloody hard work.  No - don't nod like you know what I'm talking about.  I've had twins, and when I say this is bloody hard work - it's bloody hard work.  The schedule is intense, not to mention all the curve balls that get thrown your way.

So when Pois' time came - we knew this because we had taken her temperature and it had dropped (experts on everything whelping) - she delivered her first pup at 9.30pm on Monday 26th Feb.  According to the vet and every google site out there, each pup should arrive within 1.5 hours of the last - so I crawled into a sleeping bag with her outside and waited for the impending arrival of what we thought were 7 more.  Three phone calls later to the after hours vet I was more stressed than she was - there were no more pups!  The second one finally arrived at 4.30am.  The first one hadn't latched on.  They told to chill out about this too.....not happening.  And by 8am I was in the car with Poi to go and get us some oxytocin injections to hurry the labour along.  The vet did one injection, showed me the proceedure and sent me home with two more syringes in tow.  I only live 5 mins drive from the vet, but as I looked over halfway home she had calmly delivered one on the front seat of the car.  I was anything but calm.  I ran around the outside of the car and as I did so she went over to my seat and dragged this little thing with her.  I'll spare you the descriptive details here.  So I ran around again, shooed her over, put the bundle over with her and raced home as fast as I could within the speed limit totally freaking out. She then proceeded to spit out quite a few more in quick succession.  

1.5 hours after the last, as instructed by our very handsome vet, I calmly administered the second injection.  She calmly whelped about 4 more puppies bringing the grand total to 10!

I set an alarm to administer the last injection which was "going to close her up" - this was at 5.15pm Tuesday 25th, and when Zephyr our daughter came through to say there was another one I laughed at her as I thought she was winding me up.  She wasn't.  Nope, that was number 11.

Max got home shortly after that and headed straight for the puppy pen to check them out.  He came in about 10 minutes later and I dragged my exhausted arse off the couch saying I should check just in case.  Nah he said, I've just been out there.  But that was 5 minutes ago I replied.  I get out there and she's laying down feeding them all with another little one fully enclosed in it's sac laying down by her tail.  I reached over, ripped it open, and rubbed that little one until I heard it take it's first breath.  That one was number 12.   Sadly I should note here that poor we Rimu (number 5) hadn't made it.

So there you have it!  I know in the photo we look all calm and composed...we are.  But just remember, that 5 minutes before and after that photo we were back to being knee deep in puppy poop and pee.  And although not loving every minute of it - loving mostly every minute of it.

Having this shot from Sunday Magazine last week is really special to us.  So thanks Sunday Magazine.

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