Thursday, November 17, 2011

101 Boxers

I mentioned earlier (this post) that we had bred our Boxers and were expecting a litter of pups!

We didn’t know exactly when her due date was but we guessed that it would be sometime in the first two weeks of November.  Bella kept getting bigger and bigger… and I honestly thought the weekend of Halloween would be when she had them. I read that her temperature would fall below 100 degrees within 24 hours of going into labor, so we started taking her temperature.  I don’t know if the thermometer wasn’t reading correctly or what, but her temp jumped all over the place. It would go from 99 to 101.5 and one time it was even 97… I thought for SURE that when it ready 97 it was “time!”

But day after day, night after night, she never had them.  Poor girl was getting so big and uncomfortable – you could tell by looking at her that she was about it pop! I took the following picture this last weekend:

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Big Momma

I’ve mentioned before how we are gone ALL DAY on Tuesdays. Stephen and I leave our house at 6am on Tuesday morning and get back in Mena around 8pm at the latest… most of the time class gets out earlier and it’s between 6-7 that we get home.  Regardless, we’re gone for a good 12 hours on Tuesdays, so normally my dad pops by the house and lets Baxter out for us. We set up Bella’s “birthing area” in the laundry room and we’ve been keeping her in there at night and when we were going to be gone for more than a few hours, so he’s been letting her out, as well. I was terrified that she was going to have the babies on a Tuesday while we were gone and something would go wrong and I wouldn’t be here to get her to the vet, etc.

This past Tuesday was one of the days that we didn’t get home till about 7:45. My dad had come by around 4:00 and let the dogs out; I had talked to him and was reassured that no puppies had been born.  We came straight to the house we we got back to town. Stephen was going to head to work and I was going to let the dogs out and then go to my parents house to pick up Christopher.

When I opened the door to the laundry room, I was greeted by this:

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She had destroyed her pillow. Nesting. She had also spilled her water bowl all over the floor and peed. She bolted out of the laundry room and ran to our couch in the living room.  She was panting really heavy, so that’s when I knew that she was in labor.  I called my parents and told them it’d be awhile before I came to pick Christopher up; I wanted to clean up the laundry room, mop it, and get Bella back in there before leaving the house. It took me a good 20-30 minutes to clean everything up. After I had finished mopping, I went into the living room to get Bella and put her back in the laundry room so that I could go pick up Christopher… when I got the the living room, I saw Bella standing in the middle of the room WITH A PUPPY COMING OUT OF HER!

I flipped out. I ran back to the laundry room to get my phone to call Stephen, then ran back to the living room.  I guess I startled her when I came back in because she turned and ran back to the couch… except when she jumped up on the couch, a puppy came out and hit the floor! And I don’t think she ever realized it. I think I was already calling Stephen at this point, but all I could focus on was the fact that Bella had just had a puppy in my living room floor, she was on the couch, the puppy was out of her sight on the floor right next to the couch and it was still in its sac and she wasn’t doing anything to clean it. Stephen answered his phone and I told him, Bella just had a puppy in our living room floor!!! Please hurry home!!! I was trying to get Bella off the couch to clean her puppy but she wouldn’t BUDGE, and all I could remember was reading that if the sac didn’t get taken off the puppy quickly, it would suffocate. So… yes, that’s right – I broke the sac and removed it from the puppy, and then showed it to Bella. I really think she had no idea she had just given birth, but as soon as I showed her the puppy her instincts kicked in and she started cleaning it and doing all that she needed to do.  Stephen and I laid down towels on our living room floor but Bella wouldn’t budge from the couch and I remembered reading that when a momma dog goes into labor and starts to have puppies, she picks her spot and shouldn’t be moved because it could mess things up, so we piled towels up along the cushions and back of the couch. I don’t remember when puppy #2 came, but I know that Stephen was home and there were 2 puppies when he headed back to work. At some point I had called my dad to ask him to please bring Christopher to our house because I didn’t want to leave Bella and two puppies alone on the couch.

I was so frazzled all night long. I tried to watch TV but every time I turned to look at Bella she would be having another pup! The couch wasn’t the best place for her to give birth. I was paranoid that she would smother a pup while she was cleaning up after the birth of one or that one might get stuck between couch cushions. I was texting with Stephen and one of my best friends, Jessica, while Bella was in labor. Number three was born right after Stephen went back to work, then number four, five, six… they just kept coming! Number seven, number EIGHT… at eight I texted Jess and Stephen and it said, Eight! EIGHT! Holy freaking cow EIGHT!  Then it was NINE! I was in shock at that point. There were SO MANY PUPPIES.  Bella was cleaning number nine up and Jessica was texting things like Ten! Come on Bella push out number ten!

Probably 15 or 20 minutes later I looked over at Bella and she was still cleaning up number nine. I went over and looked closer and the puppy she was cleaning was pretty wet… like it had just been born. Jess texted me at that time and asked if there were still just nine and I texted her back that I was about to count. I counted twice…. TEN.

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TEN PUPPIES.  At that point it was about 11:00. My couch was covered in soaked towels (tmi? sorry.) and ten precious boxer puppies and one boxer mommy. I COULD NOT BELIEVE that Bella had just given birth to TEN puppies on my couch. {My couch, by the way – will never be the same.}

About an hour later – a little after midnight – I decided it was time to move everybody into the laundry room so that my couch could start to recover. I set up a heated blanket, newspaper, and moved 10 puppies (and counted again as I moved them all) into the laundry room. I was going to let Bella outside to have a bathroom break then go to bed for the night.

Except when I came back in the living room, Bella was cleaning up PUPPY NUMBER ELEVEN.

SERIOUSLY.

I let her clean it up then lured her into the laundry room with puppy number eleven. I went to bed at 2am with eleven boxer pups in my living room and praying that I didn’t wake up to twelve.

I didn’t. :) We have eleven precious, perfect boxer pups! Seven boys and four girls.  Bella and all of the puppies seem to be doing really well and they go to the vet tomorrow for their dew claws removed and tails to be docked. One of the little boys has a swollen foot and paw. It’s been like that since he was born so I don’t know what’s wrong with it, but hopefully we can figure it out tomorrow at the vet’s office.

iphone1Bella around 2am Wednesday morning. Proud momma of eleven!

iphone3Precious.

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{Yesterday}

Nov 17 2011_0003{Tonight}Nov 17 2011_0009

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Tonight, Stephen and I took each puppy and weighed them and put a colored string around its neck. I want to be able to watch their weight over the next few days after they have their procedures at the vet tomorrow. An hour after we had done it I went back in and looked and almost half of them were missing their color. I’m going to try to figure out which is which.

So far things have been pretty easy going. The pups are pretty quiet and they mostly sleep and eat. I’m sure in a few weeks I’ll be losing my mind from the mess and noise. Thankfully, it is all good timing and I will be out of school for the second half of our time with the pups. Also, I couldn’t have asked for better timing for Bella to have the pups. I’d been praying that she wouldn’t have them on a Tuesday when we were at school and they came about 20 minutes after we got home on a Tuesday evening! I already had planned to miss class today because my mom was going to be out of town and I only had one class anyway. Next Tuesday I only have one morning class that meets, so we won’t have to be gone all day long; instead we’ll just be gone for the morning. Next Thursday is Thanksgiving! So exciting!

I have more updates about life recently and I will get to them at some point, but I had to post about our new sweet babies. :)

Tomorrow is FRIDAY!

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--Steph