I had lots of ideas about what to call this litter, but since there are just four puppies, and it is such a memorable season for the Cardinals, I settled on THE Cardinal Litter. (You can look up the word cardinal when used as an adjective for the double entendres!).
Meet the babies, (in birth order) Yadi, Waino, Albert and Goldy - all future Hall of Famers! Three boys and one girl - all black. (At least I think for now they are all black). All of them have really good trim; All of them came out vigorous, strong and HUNGRY. And they were all a pretty good weight ranging from 13 3/4 oz to 15 3/8 oz. All are 7-8 1/2" long (head to butt). Yadi is the smallest (of course) but has gained the most weight since he arrived.
HOW WE GOT HERE!
It was a long road to these puppies! First, Rhani came in season more than a month early (even for her) back in July! Her co-owner and my friend, Carola Adams, from New Brunswick, Canada, scrambled to figure out what to do. Then we had to scramble even faster when Rhani tested ready to breed just a few days after coming in season! Thanks to another good friend, Meg Hennessey, we got the job done! Because we weren't sure what we would do, we did all the progesterone and LH testing (necessary for a frozen semen litter) The LH gave us the exact ovulation date which gave us an exact due date. Well, as is Rhani's nature, sure had other ideas even though she was huge and clearly uncomfortable.
After about 36 hours (post her due date) of Rhani's non-stop restlessness during which I was with her the entire time (aka no sleep), she finally decided to start labor at about 3AM. 50 minutes later the first puppy arrived and then the second 10 minutes after that! Yadi and Waino came out butt first and hungry! I called Dave (upstairs sleeping) after Yadi and told him to come on down and join the party! He's a pretty good whelper helper!
Then Rhani decided to take a break. I was just getting worried after 90 minutes when she pushed some more. Out came blood and then two feet and a tail OUTSIDE THE SAC! None of this was good! And Rhani quit pushing. After a couple minutes, I called my friend Donna Mitchell who had been through a tough delivery before and is a nurse. She talked me through getting the puppy out. I was confident it would be dead because all this had taken at least 5 minutes. But, when I cleared what was left of the sac from Albert's face, he said, "Hey, I'm here. Where's the milk bar?" Now all the boys were nursing away and Rhani just went to sleep. I knew, based on ultrasounds and an Xray that there were at least 2 more puppies in there. After about two hours and consultations with Meg and Carola, I called our repro vet's on call number. Dr. Boillot answered immediately and told me to bring her in. So I loaded up Rhani and the puppies (first car ride!) and off we went.
I like to keep a diary of the puppies as much for myself as for prospective puppy buyers and interested friends. Sadly my blogs for Lucy's and Baili's litters are no longer available due to legacy systems, but I recently reviewed the Imagine Litter blog. It was a good refresher on all kinds of things and brought back lots of good memories. Looking forward to Cardinal memories too!