Now, I knew that dog breeding requires a lot of work and sacrifice, but that was only if the litter had issues. I expected that after the puppies were born, for the first three weeks, mom took care of everything, and I just had to make sure everthing went smoothly. WRONG!
It all began Sunday night when Cody kept pacing. I took her out three times for the night, on leash, and she seemed to need to go potty, but nothing happened. I knew whelping was imminent.
I waited up untill 2:30 am Monday, but decided to turn in when I saw nothing happening. The puppies, on the other hand, had their plans of their own. They wanted out. Cody lay down beside my bed and started pushing. I got her into her whelping box, which is in my bedroom, and put her in a down stay. Always the obedient dog, she complied, but minutes later got up and began spinning around in the box, furiously ripping up the newspaper. Then she lay back down and began making these sounds, like a “woof” under her breath.
At 3:35 a.m puppy no.1’s head and shoulders appeared. It was a beautiful white shepherd, but I was too tense to appreciate his beauty and perfection. I noticed it gasping for air, and was relieved at this sign of life. Cody had been licking it and removed the sac, allowing the puppy to breath. Within seconds the little fellow emerged and started screaming. Of course that was a new sound in the house and my rottweiler and other german shepherd appeared–two front paws hanging over the baby gate– with perplexed looks on their faces.
Being a first-time mom, Cody was not sure of what just emerged from her body. She circled the puppy, ears erect and foward, nudging it. Then she jumped out of the whelping box, scattering the newspapers she’d shredded and that were now bloodied, all over my room. Once she realized it was her baby, she jumped back in the box and began cleaning the pup once more.
Puppy no. 2 arrived about two hours later, but I didn’t know. It was when I heard Cody slurping that I looked between her front paws and saw the lifeless body of another white. My heart sank, but I had to stay focused on the task ahead. I removed the dead pup and prayed that the rest would be healthy.
Shortly after, and almost effortlessly, Cody produced her third baby, a lovely black and gold puppy, and after him her final puppy–another white. By 7:00am it was all over. I was exhausted (I never did make it to bed), and so was Cody. She had now settled down to nurse, and I went to the living room to relax for a bit, and just silently be grateful that this was an uneventful whelping. I closed my eyes, let out a deep, tension-relieving sigh, and felt a wet nose on my knee. It was Cody. She ran back into my bedroom and got into the whelping box. I watched her settle down once more, and left again for my spot in the living room.
Once more a cold nose touched my knee, and I opened my eyes to see the back end of Cody disappearing round the corner to my bedroom. That’s when I knew that we were in this together–me and Cody–for eight long weeks.