Solene is having a great day of rest after spending yesterday giving birth to her babies right on her due date. We have 10 wonderful puppies, 6 girls and 4 boys. Two girls are brown and the rest of the pups are black. She started whelping at 2:00 in the afternoon and was basically wrapped up by 9:30 pm. The pups are beautiful, vigorous, and strong.
With Solene carrying such a large litter, we knew there were risks that not all puppies would survive. In the end, Solene gave birth to 14 puppies and the loss of those 4 perfect little babies breaks my heart. When we have a puppy born, my immediate action is to open the sac at the head, insert my finger in the mouth to check for a cleft palate, and wait for any movement from the new baby. Usually they latch right on to my finger and I withdraw and allow the mom to tend to her newborn. With a stillborn, my heart skips a beat when I get no reaction. I try many different methods to resuscitate the baby but in the end, nature can be cruel and not all puppies are meant to live. I will never get used to this aspect of breeding and I never forget each lifeless puppy that I've briefly held in my hands.
It is days like these that make each success with my dogs so sweet.