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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)

TITLE: The Delivery
By Denise Martin


Our dog, Deborah, was due to have puppies in two days, but Rottwieler puppies don’t always come on time. Sometimes they’re early. This time they were to come two days early. My husband asked if I thought Deborah was acting funny. I didn’t care how she was acting because I had problems of my own. I had a fever and was achy all over. All I wanted to do was lie down, and all I wanted to know was sleep. As I lay on the sofa I wondered why he was anxious. We had read the breeding section of the Rottwieler owner’s book a thousand times. We knew what to do when the time came. Then, somewhere in my twilight sleep, I heard a familiar voice calling, “Here it comes! Nee, help! It’s coming! She’s having the puppies.”

The first pup was a male born at 8:45 AM in my bedroom. We named him Deuteronomy. I praised Deborah and told her what a good job she had done, then coaxed her into the whelping box. I stood holding the tiny puppy in my hand in awe of what God had done. It was a beautiful sight and for a moment, I forgot my misery. Suddenly, a chill ran through me and I realized I needed to get the puppy to his mom. The book said it was important for first time mothers to show interest in the puppies right away.

Just about the time we were all getting over the excitement of that birth, another puppy started to appear. “Help her Hon. It’s stuck,” I said. “I can’t,” he said, as Deborah franticly walked around in the box narrowly missing Deuteronomy. “Hold her don’t let her get out of the box!” he told me. In what seemed like one motion, I bent down, swept up Deuteronomy and put him in a towel on the outer edge of the box, and grabbed the emerging puppy gently tugging it assisting in its birth. It was apparent at that moment who would be recording the statistics of the births and who would be helping Deborah.

Dorcas, the second puppy, made her appearance approximately 45 minutes after Deuteronomy. The third puppy, however, was stillborn. My husband tried the 101 Dalmatians' trick of massaging the heart, to encourage life, but it didn’t work. We were sad. Deborah was perplexed as I wrapped the dead puppy in newspaper instead of placing it in the box with her. We continued in this manner for the rest of the day. Puppies continued entering the world between 30 minutes to an hour apart.

Since it had been well over an hour since the last birth, we thought she had delivered all the puppies. I put the puppies in a small box with an old blanket and towels and placed it in front of a small personal heater to keep them warm. Meantime, my husband took Deborah for a walk. Finished with my job, I sought to relax my achy body on the couch. I had just sat down when I heard, “Nee, bring some paper towels. Hurry up!” I opened the front door, paper towels in hand, to find that Deborah had delivered a puppy on the lawn.

My husband picked up the puppy, which was alive, with the paper towels and brought it in the house to clean it. I took the leash off Deborah and sat down. She wandered off into the back of the house. Homey, the father of the litter, was sitting at the sliding glass door with a peculiar look on his face. Thinking he was feeling neglected, I walked over to pet him and found another puppy! The puppies were coming faster than we could catch them.

At 9:45 PM the last puppy was born in my bedroom. Just as the doctor had predicted, it was stillborn. I put Deborah in the whelping box and placed the puppies in with her. There had been fourteen births; three were stillborn. Like a proud “grandma” I watched as she positioned the eleven puppies for feeding. Mother and babies were doing fine.

Thirteen hours and fourteen puppies later, it was over. We had started the day with two dogs and ended it with thirteen. I had pushed Vick’s DayQuil ™ to the limit, my husband had overcome his helplessness, and we were bushed. Little did we know; the fun had just begun.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 08/29/09
Wow... what an experience! I've helped kittens being born, but not puppies...and not that many! Great emotions.