So many thoughts about an opening line for this post – not sure which one to choose.
The lovely Lady Piccolo and her seven babies. Day One: 15 November 2019.
There was the thought that sleeping on the tile floor of my office last night next to Piccolo and her new puppies reminded me of traveling in Europe in the early 80s by Eurailpass and sleeping in some of the MOST uncomfortable positions on night trains.
There was the thought this morning that I was losing my first puppy out of the litter and it was only constipation-inspired lethargy. All he needed was a fanny irrigation, a bowel movement and a drop of Karo syrup by mouth to get him revved up.
And there was the thought that Miss Piccolo seemed to have found her groove, after having lost it last night – although, you can’t lose something, if you’ve never found it, right? ;>)
Can you count the skulls in Piccolo’s tummy? Monday, 11 Nov 2019.
Tuesday evening, earlier this week, I thought for sure that the puppies were coming within 24 hours, as Pic went off her food at 4pm and that’s ALWAYS been the sign to date with every one of my girls. Down in Wyndham, New York, Lady Cheryl hopped into her car – arriving in Stowe before 11pm – and no action. I slept on the floor of my office with Piccolo in the whelping box, thinking that we’d have action – but it never came. And the lovely Lady Cheryl went upstairs to her room for a restful night’s sleep.
Wednesday morning? Piccolo ate a healthy breakfast of poached chicken, mashed sweet potato, Monterey Jack cheese, Helm’s dried liver and Golden Delicious apple. Shot my expectations to hell and Cheryl & I proceeded to just live through the day. But Wednesday evening? I had my doe eyed girl acting like she wasn’t EVER going into labor and so, I decided to bring her to my VT repro clinic and have a progesterone blood draw done to see where she was on the downward progesterone curve that happens before labor.
She came in at 2.5ng/ml and Dr. Cindy Pratt estimated 12-36 hours, before we’d have puppies. That was at 7:30pm Wednesday evening and all I needed was a number, so that I could manage the household and know whether I had to sleep on the tile floor AGAIN on Wednesday night.
Sable Louis in the Puppy Warmer incubator and Oxygen Concentration equipment. Staying warm, as he dries. Newly born!
Well, I didn’t have to do that and so, Piccolo and I slept on the blow up mattress in the dining room. She woke me up on Thursday at 4am panting and I knew that ‘all systems were go’. By 6am? I got Cheryl out of bed and said, ‘We’re on’. And by 9am? We had our first puppy: solid sable Louis, butt first and all 9 1/4 ounces of him. As in humans, the ‘water breaks’ and it breaks for each puppy. Solid sable Louis was first – then, solid black Dolce (another male) – then, boldly marked B&W Pierre (another male) – then, Ralph who is sable with bold white markings – then, Chanel who is black with a pearl necklace – then, sable Kate with white markings and finally, Calvin, our black boy with four white paws.
Kate’s delivery was the most memorable, as it took 23 minutes for her placenta to emerge after most of her body and during those 23 minutes, she kept going for the nipple to nurse – but couldn’t quite reach it, while her little umbilical cord stretched as much as it could. That, I’d never seen before and I believe she is a seriously food driven little rascal who is both vigorous and beautiful in structure.
Scampi and puppies – what could possibly be more fun?
Every litter makes me nervous and I maintain that this is a good thing. These are the words that come out of my mouth – but I think I’m always trying to convince myself of this. Lady Cheryl was an angel to come and help, as she is experienced in the art of whelping and always brings scampi for dinner. The girls know her well and love her energy; we are so grateful for her friendship.
Last night was our first night with new puppies in the house and I slept on the tile floor next to Piccolo in the whelping box, yet again. She’s a first time mum and is learning the ropes, as she goes. While potty training has been a recent issue, she woke me every 90 minutes last night to pee. Making milk for the puppies requires that she drink an awful lot of water – so, in addition to fresh water, we feed her a soupy mix and make sure she has ice cubes available, when she needs a break from the warm heating pad.
It is unclear whether we have puppies available from this litter. If we do, we have only one or two males. If you are interested in a Kensington puppy, please know that we are planning three breedings for 2020 and expect our 2020 puppies to begin coming available in late Spring. Applications are required, as are visits and deposits – and puppies are offered in the order of the dated applications and by the wishes and wants of our forever families.
TTCA 2019 National Specialty. Award of Merit for Questa, handled by Rebecca Bradley. Very exciting! May 2019.
Last to mention is the latest Canine Chronicle national standings in our breed. They were just released TODAY through October 31, 2019 and our boy Questa (GRCHB Kensington’s Questa o Quella?) is now ranked #9 Nationally in our breed against all other TTs competing in AKC Conformation. We hope to have him finish in the Top 10, having bested his mum Billie who finished #14 in 2016. All very exciting and we are forever grateful to Rebecca Bradley, Questa’s wonderful handler, for loving him and handling him to the top of his game. Whoo hoo!