8 January 2017
So, here we sit. It’s 4pm and I am in the AGA room in the antique end of the house with the lovely Ziva and her rotund belly, sweet Kodi, our rambunctious Lily Rose and ‘ever ready for a nose dive into the couch’ Oliver.
We await the arrival of Ziva’s first contractions. And I am always nervous about such things, as I don’t want anything to go wrong.
This whelping will be a little different, as we’re utilizing a baby monitor at night to get used to Ziva’s normal nighttime sounds, so that I won’t miss a trick, as I did last time with Billie Jean. I have been on 24/7 duty for 2 days and everything else is on hold. Ziva is my focus, even with Billie out on the circuit this weekend. She took the Breed yesterday but didn’t place in the Group. I was disappointed – but someone else got to win. Whoo hoo, for them! ;>)
Since our last litter, we’ve switched repro vets, as I sold my Princeton, Massachusetts project last year – so now? I’m way too far from Dr. William C. Truesdale in Seekonk, MA – and still too far from Broadview Animal Hospital in Rochester, NH and their WONDERFUL Dr. Michael Norris with his terrific repro vet techs – so, we’re working with LVVS in Hyde Park, Vermont for the first time and without any corroborating progesterone tests or gestational opinions from either Doc Truesdale or Broadview. We’ve switched machines – from a Mini Vidas and two hour T/A – to sending blood out to an Antech lab and getting results 24 hours later, assuming that FedEx picks up. And I’ve had that experience, too: ‘What do you mean, FedEx didn’t pick up the blood? And I have to wait until Tuesday? You didn’t know they weren’t going to pick up, the Friday after Thanksgiving? So, I have to WAIT FOUR DAYS??? ARE YOU CHARGING ME???’
Not ideal – but, our new norm and we will get used to it and learn to work with the 24 hour delay. And I’ve since told my evil twin to take a chill pill and so, she’s carmelizing onions and baking bread, to keep busy. Better that, than, run her mouth. ;>)
Once you’ve become accustomed to a 24 hour T/A, it becomes acceptable – even though I don’t think I’ll ever lose interest in the fastest T/A possible. And progesterone levels are great determinants for determining both breeding windows and whelping immediacy. However, with a 24 hour lag time? I’ll be watching and listening to Ziva’s behavior like a hawk, nevermind hauling her off to have blood drawn tomorrow morning and schlepping the lovely through sub zero temps.
So, here, we sit.
For the last three nights, I slept on the doggie couch, as Ziva was beginning to ‘stick like glue’ and I am also finessing house training the lovely Lily Rose. So, if Lily barks the right way, I let her out, so that I can praise her for doing her business outside. Now, the flip side of that is also true: if she barks because she simply wants out? I holler back (as though she understands me), ‘Stop it! Go back to sleep!’ Nine times out of ten? I am right and my strategy works.
So, I continue to sit, practicing with the finely tuned ear I inherited from my mother and doing my best to discern the nuances among the many barks that come from a crate confined puppy in the night. Honestly? Every day, I question my sanity.
Tonight is another night. Our favorite vet tech in the world comes for dinner and we will order out and have PieCasso deliver. I don’t think we have puppies in the immediate future – so, I should probably run out to do an errand NOW. Jen and I will practice with the baby monitor. The heating pads are on and in position in the new baby nest & in the whelping box, should Ziva decide that the couch is better. I do not believe the puppies will come tonight. But Monday or Tuesday? Maybe!
We will hope for a gentle and uneventful whelping, sometime soon. Keep you posted.