Angel is getting the hang of motherhood

The pups are getting bigger and stronger. And mama is doing better. I’m not sure what to call her, Angel doesn’t really fit…she is far too fallible and young for such a name. I had thought of calling her Brittany, which would be a perfect name for her personality wise, but I suspect she will be getting more mature more quickly than her namesake.

She is getting to be a better mother. Early on the first day as she licked her pups clean she would basically send them sailing across the blanket with the force of her tongue! But now she is more gentle and the pups are stronger so they tend to hang on and only roll around a bit. Plus they seem to be nursing well and are much better at finding and lacking onto the teats. So I am feeling a little more relieved.

Watch this video on YouTube.

June 16, 2009 • Tags: , , , , • Posted in: behavior, nutrition, video • No Comments

Video of Angel whelping her pups

About 15 minutes after Angel‘s arrival in our home, she began to deliver her puppies. This was not exactly our plan, but nature had a different agenda. Here is a short video of the whelping scene. For a few short hours on Sunday, we had – gasp – twenty dogs in our home: Chloe and 5 of her pups were adopted out that day, but Angel arrived early and gave birth to 9 puppies, plus our 4 dogs!

Watch this video on YouTube.

More on Angel’s lost puppy

Mike, who was the unfortunate one to discover the dead pup, was really affected by that incident. I don’t blame him. It was so senseless, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the pup; it was large, chubby and healthy. He found himself worried each time he took the mama out to potty that he’d find another dead one. Plus, mama was doing some strange things with the bedding, seeming to be burying some of her pups in it. This was all freaking him out and leading me to assume that this mama had no clue. But a thought hit me last night: Mike and I are not responsible for the puppies’ lives – God is. We are only responsible for providing the opportunity for life to flourish.


June 15, 2009 • Tags:  • Posted in: fostering dogs • No Comments

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 (more…)

June 14, 2009 • Tags:  • Posted in: dog ownership, fostering dogs, pups • No Comments

New mama – and pups – arrive early

WEEELLLLLL, Things don’t always go as you plan do they? Sometimes you need to roll with things, have loose hips, let yourself be moved by the world rather than trying to control everything. We had a good plan – new mama, named Angel, comes North to Chicago (from Southern Illinois) on Saturday, spends the day with a temporary foster and arrives Sunday afternoon after Chloe and her final five pups have gone to their new homes. Sort of stressful but doable.


So, Michelle, our wonderful dog coordinator for Homes for Endangered and Lost Pets (H.E.L.P.) calls me on Saturday afternoon asking if we can take Angel early, on Saturday after I get off work. I think, ok, that’s doable.

New mama Angel and her 9 pups

New mama Angel and her 9 pups


So as she is describing Angel’s heavy panting, rejecting food, and restlessness I say, “Ah, I think you need to come over here as soon as possible” And sure enough she was starting to have her pups on the ride over. We got her into the house and settled into a temporary room, as Chloe and pups are of course still in the puppy room, and she gets down to business. It seems clear that this is her first litter as she seemed a bit clueless in the beginning. But with Michelle’s and my help she got the bulk of the group (8 so far) delivered by 11:00 pm. But I fear she isn’t done. I am, however, heading to bed after this post and one final check. It figures, another large litter. But when I saw her I guessed 8-10.

We did have one scary moment – pup number 5 came out and it was clear in an instant that something was terribly wrong. He was opening his mouth and struggling to breathe but nothing (more…)

June 14, 2009 • Tags: , , , • Posted in: fostering dogs • 1 Comment