Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Bad news, mostly. . .

Puppy H

Although Kenya’s puppies were all still alive as of last Friday, all but one were dead as of the c-section this morning. This puppy is a girl, 8.3 oz — which is a good size — beautifully marked except for a very definite smudge on her face. The smudge is not a total killer in the show ring, but it is definitely not desirable.

There is no reason to think this girl will fail to thrive, but one puppy out of two attempted litters is definitely a disaster. This is even worse than three living puppies from two litters last year. I may be done breeding: let everyone just get their puppies from puppy mills. But today is probably not the right day to make big decisions like that.

So . . . no way I can do any useful writing today. I’m going to go read a book. And sit with Kenya while she decides to accept her puppy. Experience leads me to suspect that her maternal instincts will switch on tomorrow or the next day. Earlier would be nice.

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5 Comments Bad news, mostly. . .

  1. Elaine T

    oh, Rachel, I’m so sorry. I’d been wondering, but refraining from asking, figuring you’d let us know eventually.

    I hope the one little one thrives, and Kenya accepts her quickly.

  2. Rachel

    She’s looking good — and Kenya’s already accepted her (that was fast! It makes a difference that this is her second litter.) (If you can call this a litter. In fact, her previous litter? Also just one living puppy. Kenya is absolutely retiring from the whelping box, since she obviously cannot carry a litter to term. I would have spayed her during the section, but I would like to finish her championship this year.).

    I can even leave the room for whole seconds at a time without worrying (much) that Kenya will jump up and squash the baby. But I will be hovering close by for ten full days. After that I will go back to work, but my mother will come over and take on a semi-hovering role while I’m gone. Retired parents are a God send.

    Kenya’s milk isn’t adequate yet, but she does have some milk. I have a feeding tube ready, but it would be fine with me if I don’t have to use it, as Kenya’s milk is definitely better for her and I want the puppy’s nursing to help bring it down. (Yes, you literally do run the tube down into the puppy’s stomach and inject formula. It is in fact an easy, safe procedure, much more so than using a bottle.) I am pretty darn sure that Kenya’s milk will be more than adequate in a day or so; judging from last year, this puppy will be VERY FAT by weaning age. After that, of course, she’ll run it off.

    It’s a bit of a risk to think about names, since stuff CAN go wrong with a newborn. But on the other hand, I’ve never lost a puppy that looked good at birth. So . . . Haidee? Heulwen? Honeysuckle? (If I name a puppy Honeysuckle, it’ll mean I have to stop calling them all Honey.) Hokulani? That means ‘star of heaven.’ In Hawaiian, I think.

    Of course, if I wind up selling her, I should let the new owners pick.

  3. Mary Beth

    I’m so sorry, Rachel. Glad to hear the little one is doing well so far; I hope she continues to thrive. I do like the names Honeysuckle and Hokulani.

    Hope you’re able to look after yourself as well, these next few days.

  4. Rachel

    Thanks, Linda. Yes, she’s stopped losing weight now, and I expect to see her start to gain tomorrow, most likely. Kenya’s milk really came in today; tonight should be much more peaceful than last night, as Puppy H is now a much happier little puppy In another day, I will really be wishing someone had a couple of Pomeranian puppies that needed fostering.

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