Friday, May 13, 2016

The Package Has Been Delivered

Since we got Jules exactly two weeks ago today, I have walked around expecting her to sling puppies out her hooha at any given moment. If that sounds a little crass, I don't mean to be. It's just that she went around looking like this for thirteen straight days. This is a look that clearly conveys that not only is she most definitely going to sling puppies within seconds, she's considering aiming one at me.

For a different angle, consider that she could not sit without most of her stomach touching the ground.

But still, we waited and waited and took rectal temperatures every 12 hours (note: if you ever need a thermometer and you're at my house, opt to go buy new one). I was getting a little uneasy because every morning I'd wake up and she'd be incrementally bigger and I could not imagine she'd make it through the day without going into labor.
Finally, yesterday, she did. She waited until everyone left for work and school and then got down to business. Luckily for me, I came home at lunch to check on her. By that time, she'd had three. Within an hour, there was another. Then, in the space of about 50 minutes, she gave birth to four more: boom, boom, boom, BOOM! (So, frankly, I feel a little justified about my original theory.....) And then, after a bit... TWO MORE. If you're bad at math, that's ten. TEN. She had started sometime after 9:30am and it was all over by 5:30pm. To put that in perspective, in the amount of time you and I spend in a regular day at the office, this mama dog pushed out over half the Duggar Population.

Sadly, the last little one did not survive long but the other nine are doing well. And mama, of course she's happy. She doesn't look happy here below, but this was about an hour post labor and she's a little pooped. Also, nine little gerbil aliens are attached to her boobs.

I named them all after Texas towns: Lufkin, Huxley, Idalou, Barstow, Hondo, Glen Rose, Odessa, Trinity and Magnolia. The little angel baby had a name too: SantaRosa. She was beautiful and fully formed and I'm not really sure what happened, but I guess the easiest explanation is that she was competing for space with 9 other honkers in a womb that was not built for that many. Still, it made me sad.
I've taken lots of photos on FB and shared and plenty of people have asked how I can tell them apart already and know who's who. Well, for one, some of them are unique like Lufkin who is the only one with white all the way around his neck and is built like a Holstein cow.
 And then there's Idalou, who is a bit of a super model.
I originally thought she was the only tri-color, but I was wrong. She's the only GIRL tri-color. Hondo, as it turns out, is also a tri (note: white chest). And a ham.
So that means that there is only one black/tan boy and only one black/tan girl (Huxley and Glen Rose)

AND only one solid black boy (Barstow who refused to sit still). That just leaves three solid black girls that I have to tell the difference between and they all actually have white blazes on their chests that are a wee bit different each. This, for example is Odessa.
And ever so helpfully, Trinity, has a triangle on her shoulder. You can't make this stuff up.
And, of course, I can also tell them apart because I spend so much time staring at them trying to figure out which one is managing to squeak his head off AND be attached to the teat at the same time (spoiler: it's Hondo).
If anyone is interested, I also managed to snap a couple of videos of actual birthings. It's not really that gross (ok, it's a little gross, but there's a puppy at the end!). I actually showed the boys this morning. They were not horrified at all, like I thought they might be. Hopper wanted to know if she was actually pooping the puppies out (uh, no, son, that is another, um, hole) while Rowan wanted to know if the puppy had chewed it's way out (good lord, I hope not).
Right now, we are giving Mama lots of space and quiet. She doesn't particularly appreciate my judgment about her cleaning skills (LAY OFF WOMAN, THERE'S NINE), but she's tolerating me. I don't think she will really tolerate anyone else for a while, which is ok because we are on a "no visitors" lockdown for a bit.
All in all, it's going ok. I'm trying not to freak out over the fact that I technically have 13 dogs in my house at the moment, but shhhhhh, let's just not think about that.

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