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A story of a whelping!

My dear friend Annie has a delightful Border Collie called Buffy, she is a half-sister to my Pie, by a Grandson of my Teddy. Buffy combines both mine and Annie’s breed lines and Annie kept her especially to breed from and keep the line going!

Buffy with friend Molly and Annie's grand daughter Emma

It seemed that Buffy had other ideas! She is now nearly six years old and has only had 3 seasons! A very unusual lack of seasons, considering many bitches have a season every six months! Annie had too many commitments to mate Buffy at her first season, which didn’t happen until after her second birthday, and hoped that now she had started having seasons that the next one wouldn’t be too long coming. Alas it was another two years before the next season, when Buffy was mated but with no outcome! At nearly six years old, Annie was concerned about mating Buffy again, but assured by her vet that Buffy was very fit and in great health, she went ahead and mated her to Solo, my Teddy’s grandson, who has a very similar temperament to Teddy, bursting with joy for life!

At three weeks the Vet examined her to see if she was in whelp, but despite a lot of searching could find no evidence of pregnancy! At five weeks, Buffy was acting like her throat had been cut, eating Annie out of house and home and behaving oddly, so Annie talked to her Vet and they decided to scan Buffy, and indeed he found at least three puppies on the scan! Game back on!

On Friday the 7th May, the due date, nothing happened, no sign of the expected labour, on the saturday she was looking a little restless but other than that on top form, Annie waited! Sunday still very little sign of labour, Buffy eating well and full of energy. Annie getting concerned spoke to her Vet who said lets wait a bit longer. Poor Annie her tummy was getting upset with anxiety. Buffy is a special dog to Annie and now she was wishing she hadn’t mated her at all, concerned for her safety she kept watching and waiting for any sign of difficulty. Monday and Buffy was now looking a bit restless, wanting to dig from time to time and being restless for short periods, in between she would settle down to sleep and looked totally at ease! I went to dog sit while Annie went off to take her Monday night class, I did little but drink tea and observe her, and she was much the same as she was all day. Annie was on full alert by now and slept little that night, watching Buffy for any signs of distress or the hoped for puppies!

Tuesday and still nothing, it is not unusual for a bitch to be two days late, but this was getting worrying now! Annie spoke to her Vet that morning and he said if nothing had happened by tea time to bring her to see him. I went over to go with Annie, I arrived around four pm to see give a quiet push, for the first time! It was the first sign, we took her to the Vet at five pm so that he could see how she was doing. Annie’s Vet Marcus, is a good friend and Annie has the utmost confidence in his care of her dogs (vital at a time like this in your dog’s life). Marcus gave Buffy a good examination and after some discussion it was agreed to see if Buffy could finish her labour unassisted, but Marcus assured Annie he would be at the end of the phone all night, should she need him! Marcus predicted a puppy in the early hours of Wednesday morning!

We went home to wait some more! And wait we did! Buffy had clear ideas about how we waited and made it quite clear that she wanted regular back massages, and if one of us stopped she squeaked at us until one of us started again! At 12.30am Buffy became more intense in her activities of digging and pushing, we even caught a glimpse of a puppy! Eventually at one am a one pound tri colour baby boy was born, followed fairly rapidly by another just twenty minutes later! Buffy was so calm about the whole procedure and l Our relief and pleasure was only dampened by our tiredness, though I can hardly complain, Annie had already missed one nights sleep!

Buffy obviously had more to come, and having cleaned her two babies thoroughly she started to feed them, she had copious milk and the babies had to little more than put their mouths to her teat and milk almost fell into them! We could see them growing already! She lost all interest in her back rubs now that she had some babies, and was immediately in love with them. I have never seen a bitch so careful of her new babies, any movements she made in the box she made slowly and gently to avoid hurting them, yet her cleaning of them was robust, and she bossily pushed them back to feed when her cleaning was done.

More waiting, I have to admit that at around three am I fell asleep on the floor and Annie delivered the next boy on her own  at around four am! Still no girl for Annie to keep and continue the breed line, though it did look like there was another yet to come!At this point I clearly remember saying that the only way Buffy could redeem herself now, was to produce a brown and white girl for Annie!

At six am Annie’s husband Mick surfaced to see what the outcome was, we were both slightly hysterical by this time, brought on by lack of sleep and the relaxation of the loss of tension and anxiety, and were full of giggles at the amount of time it had taken to produce just three puppies! Yet with the possibility of another puppy to come, we were not out of the woods yet, there was still the possibility of a caesarean to deliver any remaining puppy! At seven am I didn’t want to go home in case there was still an emergency, so instead retreated to Annie’s living room to get a couple of hours sleep in comfort! At my request Annie woke me with a cup of tea at nine am and said to come look 🙂 and there she was, a brown and white girl for Annie to keep! Her name is Sydney and Mum and babies are thriving!

Buffy in the bluebell wood!

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