Nature gives and takes
It has been a crazy 12 hours. Mama Angel‘s 9 pups made it through the night which was a wonderful thing to behold. I couldn’t tell which of the group was the weak number 5 that needed so much help at birth. I was thrilled and feeling good about the Mama, since she seemed to be doing so well. I decided not to hover, to let her take care of things, especially since she was so new to me and our home.
I guess I should have checked in more. Mike was walking her every 2 hours and I was checking in during those times too. All seemed well until Mike took her out around 1 ish – 12 hours from her last whelp – and said “KRIS you need to come her NOW” and of course something was very wrong. All 8 pups were huddled in their normal puppy huddle to keep warm, and one was lying lifeless by itself. It was clear from the placement of the pup that mama had accidentally laid on it and smothered it. It was heartbreaking. The pup was still warm, so I thought there might be hope for resuscitation but alas the warmth was likely mama’s body heat. I tried to do what I had read, the chest compressions and breath but it was too late. My first pup death. I felt so ineffectual, so powerless. And of course that is the truth of the matter, I have absolutely no power in this endeavor. Pups need their mama’s, they need their life spirit – their will to live, their robust energy to get to mama, and they need a safe place, free from predators. I can provide only one of those things but the stuff of their early life is beyond me. I guess I could have hovered and maybe stopped the death, but maybe not. The pup may have been too weak to nurse, something could have been wrong, who knows. All I do know is that I have to trust the mama’s to know what to do and I have to keep myself out of it to some extent. I can’t control, I can’t save, I can’t do everything. I can only provide what I can – warmth, quiet, safety, and food and water for mama. It is humbling. It is a sad day.