Pups for Fun Part 3

2 week old pup
2 week old pup

Pups for Fun Part 3


Story so far; Part 1: The year is 1969 and we are attempting to breed Airedale puppies hoping to make some spare cash also have some fun, We evade the local stud dogs in a hair raising car chase all clamouring anxiously to be the father of these pups


Part 2: Tom [stud dog] has done his duty and we now have much info on the birth and raising of pups.,But knowing and doing are not necessarily the same.

We were total beginners, but willing to learn.



THE BIRTH


So began the wait to see if Fracy was fertile and if Tom’s effort had been successful.

Four weeks later, we could see that Fracy was definitely fatter. We visited the vet and to our delight he confirmed there was definitely some pups in there.

We now began feeding Fracy extra meals a day. The fitter and healthier the Mum is, we had been told, the healthier the pups would be. We also gave her Raspberry Leaf tablets as advised by Ted {breeder of Fracy]. It was an old fashioned remedy, said to make the birth process easier. We were eager to do everything right. I borrowed all the books the local library had on dog breeding and read them several times.

The pregnancy period for dogs is nine weeks, so three weeks later found us ready for this big event.

I made a whelping box out of plywood,

Large enough for Fracy to lie in with the pups, with sides low enough for her to step in but high enough to stop the pups from climbing out & wandering around.

As our two boys were aged four and two we decided to not have the pups born or living in the house. Not so much for hygienic reasons, but for the fact that the kids would probably not leave them alone. Also we now had a cat named Tabethen and we thought Fracy would not be too happy for him to be involved in this event.

Thinking our cat was female, Audrey had named ‘her’ Tabitha, after the little girl in Bewitched series on TV. Upon being told by the vet who performed the neutering on Tabitha, that ‘she’ was a male, ‘en’ was added to the name.

So the shed on the yard was made ready. With Fracy’s box on the floor, hundreds of newspapers collected from our neighbors and library books on the workbench. A spare drawer taken from sideboard (furniture item) with blanket, heating lamp and hot water bottle, all ready for action.

The day dawned that the pups were due……. Nothing!

After two days of constant observation and still no sign of a birth happening, we took Fracy to the vet. We could see and feel the little bodies moving under her skin.

“Like all babies, they’ll come when they’re ready” he said cheerfully “If nothing happens by next week, come and see me again.”

“How many’s in there?” I asked him.

“I can’t tell,” he replied “they are moving around all over the place.”


That evening Fracy spent considerable time scratching and turning around in her bed. My library instruction books said this was a sure sign of impending birth. So it was decided I would stay up with her.

Gerry (the breeder) had told me that pups are usually born at night and that he personally, would leave his dogs on their own to ‘get on with it’. We felt unable to do that. Like a caring father I was looking forward to being involved in this birth. I had been present at our son’s birth (unwillingly I must admit)……but that’s another story.


That night the bathroom walls got painted, but no pups!


The next day at work, I was walking around like a ‘zombie’ but fortunately it was Friday, so with the weekend near I could stay awake if need be. That evening Fracy again was ‘making her bed, turning round restlessly. Eventually she lay down and Audrey and I sat with one eye on the TV and the other on her.

Suddenly Audrey jumped up from her chair saying “Wake up, she’s straining.”

Shaking myself from my half asleep state, I saw Fracy’s body stiffening and then relaxing.

“C’mon then, good girl” I said and persuaded her to slowly walk with me outside to the shed.

She entered her box and proceeded to scratch and tear all the carefully laid newspapers

placed in there. After several minutes of this, she lay down, so Audrey and I took up our positions sitting on the floor, as there was not enough space for chairs.

Thirty minutes later, the first pup came. Not a sound from the mother, no cries of pain or discomfort shown by her. The thought crossed in my mind: Was there pain for all animals in the birth process? Or are they tougher than humans and don’t complain as we do?

It was an amazing sight.The pup comes out attached to the mother with a cord and contained in a bubble of clear liquid skin like a plastic see through bag. We knew from our book studying that the mother should immediately bite through the cord and free the pup from the bag.

If she did not do this, then we would have to do it, for the pup to survive.

Fracy lay on her side, not making a move.

“Hey girl” I said, lifting her head towards her rear end, “What’s this then?”

She suspiciously sniffed the black shape on the newspaper, then looked at me as if to say:

“Where on earth, has this come from?” Then she lay her head back down

Audrey picked up the puppy and held it under Fracy’s nose.

“C’mon Fracy, do your stuff.” I pleaded anxiously.

To our relief Fracy turned and bit through the cord and took the pup in her mouth.I thought for one dreadful moment she was about to eat it!

Seconds later she was licking vigorously its body. She cleaned the liquid from around its little nose and it began to squeak. Fracy then ate the afterbirth. This seems a disgusting thing to do from a human point of view, but the books said it was natural for dogs to do this and was a source of nutrition for the mother, The next four to five weeks, this mother will use all her body food source to supplying her pups with milk.


After the pup had had a drink at the milk bar, Fracy seemed quite content to lie there after giving it a complete full body wash with her tongue. We persuaded her to leave the box so we could replace the messy newspapers, By placing the pup in the sideboard drawer on the shed floor she got up out of the box to check that it was okay.

We cleaned up the papers and she stepped back in to the box, lay down and rewashed her returned baby.

The drawer contained a rubber hot water bottle under a towel. The plan was that when the next pup came along, we would remove the first pup to avoid the mess placing it in the drawer. Hopefully Fracy would be so busy with the new pup that she wouldn’t fret about the preceding ones.


By two a.m. we had two pups in the drawer and Fracy straining to deliver another.

Suddenly to our surprise two pups appeared one after the other.

I couldn’t remember the books saying anything about this!

Fracy bit the cord and began cleaning one pup and completely ignoring the second one.

Audrey lifted the second pup to Fracy’s head but she continued licking the squeaking baby.

We tried taking the noisy pup away but Fracy began to fret, ignoring the silent pup at her feet.

“We’re gonna ‘ave to do it.” Audrey reluctantly said, giving the squeaking pup back to Fracy.

She then picked up the lifeless puppy and with scissors carefully cut the cord. With understandable nervousness she pushed the scissors in to the shining bag of translucent skin and removed it. We returned the pup to Fracy after drying it with a soft towel, but she still ignored it. Audrey dashed in to the house to get some brandy and with an eyedropper, she squirted some into the pups mouth. It gave a little gasp and squeaked. Fracy lying there exhausted, lifted her head so we gave the pup and she gave it the full body wash.


An hour passed and no more pups appeared. All our borrowed instruction books said that the interval between each birth should be no longer than an hour or call your vet! Since it was approaching three a.m. I was reluctant to do this, envisioning a vets bill the equivalent of a puppy price. Audrey being Audrey did not see my reasoning behind this.

“What’re we gonna do then?” she asked anxiously.

I flipped through the pages of my book whilst trying to think of an answer.

“It says ‘ere” I said triumphantly, pointing at the page,”to take the dog a walk.”

“Are you sure?” Audrey took the book from me

So we persuaded a reluctant Fracy to leave the box and her pups. I decided in my ‘wisdom’ to take her across the street to a large area of grass opposite our house. In the gloom of the street lamp Fracy squatted on the grass as she usually does. I thought, she’s taking a while and on closer inspection saw to my horror she was delivering a pup. Hastily kneeling down I caught the baby before it hit the ground. Fracy then lay down, turned, bit through the cord and began to give it the normal thorough licking. I sat on the grass in the darkness gratefully until she had finished. She cleaned up the afterbirth, I carefully picked up the pup and we returned home.

By dawn we had eight puppies.

Now all we had to do was rear them.


To be continued ………………..





















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