First born pup, shortly after birth. We later changed his collar color to Dark Blue.
|A tired Juliette with her new brood, tucked into the bedroom puppy pool for their first night together.|
The ADI conference was Mon-Wed, and Juliette was due Tues or Wed. I had made arrangements for two vet tech friends with lots of breeding/whelping experience to be on call. Monday and Tuesday were uneventful - Juliette ate and had no indications of pre-whelp anxiety. Skipping a meal is one of the best indications of an imminent whelp, usually within 12-24 hours. Nancy kindly checked in frequently on Juliette, and I was able to stay all day at the conference. Tuesday night, Juliette left a bit of her dinner, but Wed she ate breakfast. However, about an hour after breakfast, Juli started showing some early signs of Stage I labor (anxious, panting, nesting in plastic crate bedded with sheets). I called Nancy and the vet tech available during the day, and made arrangements for someone to be with Juli the rest of the day. I was guessing we were still at least 12 hours away from whelping, and that I should at least be able to give my morning presentations and chair the session at the ADI conference. I checked in at breaks, and all was well, with Juli showing some progression and Nancy not needing to call either of the vet techs. From past experience, we knew that Juli gives very little warning before starting to whelp. I ended up staying for the entire day of talks and finally got on my way home around 5:15 pm. I stopped off at the gas station near my house figuring it would be a good idea to have a full tank of gas should we need to make a dash to the emergency clinic. While pumping gas, a call came in on my work Blackberry (which was the back up number to contact me) - I had left my cell phone was on the seat in the car. It was Nancy, and her first question was "Where are you?", followed by "Juliette is having contractions". I was 5 minutes from home, so I sped home and was met at the door by a much relieved Nancy. She said that Juli was continuing to have contractions. It was 6 pm. I quickly changed clothes, we got Juliette out of the crate and into the large whelping pool, and moved the beloved den aka crate out of sight. At 6:10 pm Juliette's water broke and at 6:25 pm, Dark Blue boy entered the world, just 25 minutes after I got home. That was cutting it a bit close!! In true Juli fashion, she whelped at warp speed and delivered 9 puppies in 3 hours, 7 boys and 2 girls - a very easy whelp. The last pup out, Purple girl, was born at 9:23 pm. Juliette didn't even miss a meal, and she eagerly consumed a can of dog food after the whelp. Pups' birthweights ranged from 12.2 oz (Green boy) to 18.4 oz (Dark Blue boy). These pups are Golden Retrievers with a nice mix of light to dark gold. Juli's breeder caretaker was still at the conference when I called her with the update, but she managed to make it over for the birth of the last 5 pups.