Friday, August 31, 2007

Our New Web Site (for our breeding endeavors)

Hey all,

If you have a minute, I finally got most of our web site up -- the one we're setting up for our breeding endeavors so that people can find information about us and our Labs quickly and easily.

Our name as a breeder is "Stoney Ridge Labrador Retrievers" ("Stoney Ridge Labs" for short).

"Stoney" was the name of our first-ever Lab (a black female) and the dam of our first-ever litter (several years ago).

"Ridge" you all know from this blog (he's our fox-red male stud). :o) It also happens that we live on Ridge Road. So "Ridge" works.

Hence, "Stoney Ridge."

You can visit the web site at Either copy and paste that URL into your web browser, or just click here if you want to see the site.

I'm still working on it (still have to add our contact info and some other things) but most of what's needed is there (including Ridge and Elsie's certs and pedigrees).

If you take a look, let me know if I'm missing anything important or if you see any glaring errors. We're not looking to do this breeding thing big time at all. We're only planning on one litter per year, alternating years between Kenya and Elsie so they only have litters every fourth or fifth heat cycle. Next year will be Kenya's turn (if her certs come back okay).

BUT, it sure would make it easier to direct people to a web site for specific information about our dogs, instead of this blog, which is fun but not super information heavy.

So, if you have a moment, take a look and let me know what you think. I welcome your input (constructive criticism, too). I'm not a web site designer, so what you see is the best I could come up with.

Any thoughts?

I look forward to your comments.

'Til next time,
Joan (who will be back with normal pictures, observations, and postings tomorrow -- was trying to get our AKC stuff and the web site stuff taken care of today).

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Whelping Box: The Reason for Rails

I'm sure by now, many of you have notice the railings that run mid-way along the walls of the whelping box.

You can see them clearly here in the photo of Elsie and the pups.

What you may not have know is the reason the rails are there. These two pictures capture their function well:

Were it not for these rails, these two pups, especially Whitey (in the last picture), could have been crushed between Elsie and the whelping box wall.

Some people use PVC piping to create rails, and it works really nicely, but these 2 x 4 s have worked well, too.

At least no one has complained so far!

'Til next time,


The pups are looking less like newborns and more like puppies. :o)

Elsie's belly, apart from her teats, is returning to her pre-pregnancy trimness.

During the day, once she nurses the pups and they're settled and content, Elsie is regularly sleeping outside the whelping box. She's still close by and very attentive.

At night, she sleeps in the box with them.


Dear Hubby took the night shift keeping an eye on Elsie and the pups.

Oh what a difference a little sound sleep can make!

'Til next time,

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ridge Watches us Weigh the Pups

Many of you have asked about how the our canine crew is reacting to the pups. The short answers are these:

Baxter: nonchalant
Ridge: curious, excited, and interested
Elsie: same as Ridge :o)

Here's a really brief video of Ridge watching us weigh the pups. He's at the gate blocking entrance to the kitchen. Off screen to the right are the pups in the whelping box with Elsie. We're weighing pups at the kitchen table immediately next to the whelping box (also off screen).

Ridge alternates his glances between the pups and Don (like he's saying "oh boy, what are those things making noise over there" and "hey, Dad, what's that squiggly thing in your hands?"

Kenya joins Ridge at the very end of the clip. Both are just incredibly interested.

She's Still Nesting!

This is a hoot. Well, I think so anyway.

Elsie keeps nesting. It's like she's trying to build another den to hide her pups in. She's even started trying to pick up the pups in her mouth (something our previous Lab mom never did).

What's funny here is Baxter's response. He's hanging out on the couch (the canine kids are allowed to do that in this room), and Elsie's digging away next to and underneath her, and he doesn't even notice (well, doesn't show that he notices).

LOL... he's our lumbering gentle giant who never gets flustered over anything (except swimming, going for walks, and retrieving).


Glad to Be Part of the Pack Again!

We've seen dramatic changes in Elsie's behavior in the last 24 hours.

All of a sudden she's our girl again (as opposed to the pups' mom).

After she nurses, and the pups seem content, she'd rather leave the whelping box and snuggle with us.

Or she roams the house, occasionally whimpering, as if she's looking for someone.

I think she's looking for the human kids (all of our kids returned to their respective out-of-town colleges on Sunday), and she's looking for Kenya, Ridge, and Baxter, who have been staying in our kennel/laundry/utility room when they're not outside, separated from Elsie and the pups.

She's looking for her pack. :o)

Not that she neglects the pups: one cry is all it takes, and she's back to the whelping box again. But she's not so obsessive about them.

So we're giving her time as she wants it playing with the gang (but only one at a time -- not the whole crowd). And she seems to want it pretty often.

The Kenya Bean is especially happy, since she and Elsie are buds.

More to come in a bit...


First Vet Visit: Not TOO Traumatic

Well, we trotted off to the vet's office today with Elsie carrying her lead in her mouth (something she's never done before) and the puppies snuggled in the puppy box complete with warming mat and sheepskin bedding.

Elsie has mastitis (an infection in the mammary glands). When I checked her teats yesterday morning, she had a golf-ball-sized, hard lump between two teats that seemed tender to the touch (the rest of her teats are floppy and soft), so that's what I suspected. I was thankful we already had our vet appointment for her checkup so we could get her started on antibiotics right away.

Antibiotics, warm compresses, and regular expression of the milk from the involved teats -- that's all we can do for her. I had mastitis with one of my own babies two decades ago, and believe me, it's not fun (for humans or canines). Elsie is still tolerating the pups' nursing quite well, though. What a trooper!

Other than mastitis, Elsie is doing wonderfully. Even her coat feels soft and healthy (I thought she'd be pretty ragged by now). We are supplementing her regular food with puppy food and puppy formula (great nutritive value perfect for lactating moms). And we're making sure she has constant access to water (she drinks like I've never seen her drink before). So, she's staying hydrated and doing well. Phew.

The pups are all just terrific! (Can you see me beaming?!!!) They're plumping up as they should, umbilical sites are healing nicely (no herniations), and palettes are all in tact, which I checked and knew, but wanted the vet to verify. The vet says they look great and, again, that we're doing all the right things.

So, since everybody was fine and healthy, they snipped their front dew claws (none had dew claws in the rear). The dew claws are like thumbs (not opposable, of course) in that they are a fifth digit, but found on the inside of the lower leg just above the paws.

Now, before you hang me for putting them through that, dew claws can be an issue later in life (especially getting caught or torn in the field), and to remove them later requires major surgery (general anesthesia and such). It's better to remove them now. It's a little "owy" that prevents a bigger "owy" later (how I used to explain vaccinations to my kids when they were little).

Since the pups aren't completely developed neurologically yet, and though dew-claw-removal hurts them (yes, they did yip heartily), it doesn't cause the same kind of pain that it would later on to remove them. And immediately (I mean immediately) after they clipped the dew claws, each pup settled down into happy grunting again. They seemed oblivious.

My human babies had harder times with their immunizations than these pups did having their dews claws removed.

They, of course, removed Elsie from the room (took her back to the vet's kennel) while they worked on the pups -- didn't want to upset her.

So, the pups had a "traumatic" day yesterday. But they're all fine and squiggly as usual. They don't even notice their little bandages on their wrists (which come off tomorrow).

You can see their little white bandages on their front paws in these last two photos. Some vets suture, some use glue (like super glue); ours just prefers a little gauze taped over the wound.

The veterinary staff, of course, ooh's and aww'd over the squirmy, grunting pile. But they were respectful about not touching or trying to pick up the pups yet. They also spent boatloads of time praising Elsie. :o)

She strutted around like the consummate proud mama (as she should!).

It's funny. When we got home, Elsie couldn't wait to get out of the van. She picked up her lead in her mouth and sat at the sliding side door waiting for Don to let her out of the car. When he did, she jumped out of the van and trotted with lead in mouth over to the gate where she promptly turned around and sat down.

She wouldn't go in the gait until I removed the puppy bin from the car, too. :o)

What a mom! She was just waiting for her kids. :o)

'Til next time,

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pinky Works Hard for a Snuggle Spot!

LOL... I love their little movements at this age. Pinky's movement, in this video clip (make sure your sound is on), looks more like that of a salamander than of a puppy. And, boy, can she be vocal!


Meet the Gang!

Okay. Here are the stats (I'm finally getting around to it). We're calling each puppy by the color of his/her rickrack color band. It will be up to the new owners to name them. :o)

So here are the vital statistics (abbreviate version). All pups are yellow Labrador retrievers, but the breed standard states that yellow can mean anything from nearly white/cream to fox red. The colors I list are all within the spectrum of that standard.

Blue Boy:
  • Born Saturday at 4:27 p.m.
  • Gender: male
  • Birth weight: 468 grams
  • Color: fox red
  • Current weight: 592 grams

Mr. Green:
  • Born Saturday at 6:13 p.m.
  • Gender: male
  • Birth weight: 500 grams
  • Color: fox red (lighter red)
  • Current weight: 660 grams

  • Born Saturday at 6:27 p.m.
  • Gender: female
  • Birth weight: 492 grams
  • Color: light/cream
  • Current weight: 662 grams

Whitey (the runt of the litter):
  • Born Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
  • Gender: female
  • Birth weight: 372 grams
  • Color: light/cream
  • Current weight: 500 grams

Miss Scarlet (Red):
  • Born Saturday at 9:25 p.m.
  • Gender: female
  • Birth weight: 432 grams
  • Color: very light
  • Current weight: 588 grams

  • Born Saturday at 10:05 p.m.
  • Gender: female
  • Birth weight: 472 grams
  • Color: fox red
  • Current weight: 582 grams

Blue and White:
  • Born Sunday morning at 12:35 a.m.
  • Birth weight: 520 grams
  • Gender: male
  • Color: fox red
  • Current weight: 704 grams

Pink and White:
  • Born Sunday morning at 2:40 a.m.
  • Birth weight: 500 grams
  • Gender: female
  • Color: lighter red
  • Current weight: 644 grams


Poor Elsie. Just look at these sharp little puppy toenails. Imagine sixty-four of these (four per paw, two front paws per pup, eight pups) digging at your soft underside! ;o)


But Elsie tolerates it quite well. :o)

And baby nail trimmers work quite well. :o) :o)

More to come...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Doing Better -- Thankful for What We Have

Thanks so much, all, for your expressions of support, care, and encouragement. As many of you reminded me, there is still much for us to celebrate and be thankful for.

So, despite losing a pup this morning, I'm doing far better (Elsie is, too). I'm still a little sad, especially since he was a healthy, thriving pup, but, I'm focusing now more on what we have left (and not as much on what we lost).

Number one on the list is that we have a perfectly fine, healthy Elsie. I took this photo this morning. Doesn't she look great?!

Number two is that Elsie has turned out to be a terrific mom to her pups -- ideal, in fact. We couldn't have asked for better. So I'm tickled for her (and us).

We also have eight wiggly, healthy, beautiful, thriving pups -- and that's one more than we expected as it is. We have much to treasure.

So I'm giggling over their antics again. I'm letting my heart be warmed by the pups' grunts and vocalizations (how like human infants they sound sometimes!). I'm still awed by the beauty of birth and life-giving. And I'm humbled by our inability to control it all.

As a friend put it, too, on the phone today (when I apologized for crying over a puppy), I needed to realize my broken heart is a sign that I have a heart - a caring, tender heart, and that's a good thing (I haven't become hardened and stoic in my 47 years). And the reality is, though having a tender heart brings pain, it also brings deeper joy and far greater ability to experience life's beauty and graces.

So that's what I'm trying to do now: treasure the graces and rejoice over our beautiful "grandbabies." :o)

We are, of course, going to the vet tomorrow to have Elsie and the pups all checked out and to have the pups dew claws removed. And I'll feel more secure then.

And yes, I've been counting pups all day and making sure no one is under her. I can't help myself. But that will pass as they get a little bigger and better move themselves around.

In any case, I'm back to being able to celebrate the gift we have in our eight pups and our healthy Elsie.

And, of course, our gifts in Baxter, Ridge, and Kenya to boot.

Thanks for walking this road with us (f0r good and bad). It's helped a bunch to know so many of you have gone through the very same thing. Your encouragements have meant more than you know.

'Til next time,

Sad News

We lost the yellow-collared puppy this morning (third born, medium-colored male).

We've talked at length with the vet, and he's pretty certain the pup suffocated underneath Elsie, and that there wasn't anything we could've done differently.

It must have JUST happened when we found the pup.

DH was getting Elsie up to take her out when he came down this morning (I slept on the couch for a few hours, within ear shot, but Elsie and pups were all fine when I went to sleep at 1:30 a.m., and I desperately needed sleep having been up with Elsie all night for the two nights before). The pup was wedged all the way underneath her.

He was still warm, pink, soft, and flexible (no rigor), so we gave him to Elsie to revive. When all her licking and prodding didn't get him going again, we tried puppy CPR (teeny puffs and itty bitty compressions). We tried rubbing him. We tried the bulb syringe. That didn't work, either, so we gave the pup back to Elsie, and she tried again. Still no response.

We kept checking for vitals, and there was no heartbeat or breath sounds, even after all that.

I'm a mess, of course (been crying since we found him at 6:30 this morning). I suspect with how tired I am, I just don't have much emotional margin. I'm having a difficult time pulling myself together (I'm truly not normally a crier).

But it's just the way of things. I know that. It's all part of what happens with litters, though it's not happened to us before (we knew it would sometime, and this is only our second experience whelping and raising a litter -- we didn't lose any from our first litter years ago).

Dr. Lukoff, our vet, spent quite a while on the phone with me this morning, and we discussed all the details at length. He assured me we're doing everything right -- that sometimes it's just unavoidable. He said it happens to everyone, even the best of breeders.

That comforts me somewhat. But I keep wondering if we did something wrong or could've done things differently. The vet and DH both say no, that we didn't do anything wrong. We're doing all we can to give these pups a great start, and doing it all correctly, the way it's supposed be done.

But I'm still sad.

Anyway, we're down to eight now (five girls and three boys), still one more than our expected seven. The yellow-collared guy was one of the quietest of the bunch (not very vocal) and one of the medium colored ones (not super dark, no super light). But he was healthy and gaining weight, so it was just that Elsie's weight suffocated him (her weight on his body, not his face...DH said you could see his head when he pulled him out from beneath Elsie).

I thought you all would want to know.

I know this is just part of breeding, but I'm not that stoic yet. I still feel the loss. I know some breeders even put down weaker pups from larger litters to give the others the best chance at survival. But I'm not one who could do that. And this pup was healthy, from all we could tell.

Maybe I'm not hard-hearted enough. I just wish we'd found the pup a minute sooner (again, he was still pink and warm and flexible).

Then in my head I go the route of "maybe if I hadn't slept" but suffocation happens so fast. Even the vet said I could have been up all night again watching, and it may still have happened anyway (I don't check the pups every single minute -- Elsie doesn't even check the pups every minute -- there's just no need with pups who appear healthy).

I don't know. I think I'm just grieving and trying not to be too worried about the rest. And I think I'm very tired.

I'll update you on the rest in a separate post. Please say a prayer or send good thoughts for protection for the rest. It's just tough.

Thanks for listening. And thanks for all your kinds words and support. I hope you don't mind me letting you all know. I just felt like it was the right thing to do since you've all been involved through the process with us (and this is apparently still part of the process - something I suppose I'll have to get used to).

'Til next time,

Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's Super Elsie!

Doesn't Elsie look terrific, especially after 34 hours labor and delivery. She's doing just fine, but still has one placenta to get out. Oh, and she's become quite the Mom -- wow -- doesn't even want the pups in the puppy box. The pups (ALL of the pups) have to be near her for her to be content. What a good Mom!
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Fine Dining At Its Best!

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The Gang's All Here (we think)

Here's the proud Mamma with her litter:

She's still pushing now and then, though, and has finally expelled two of the three missing placentas (one just now, 34 hours after she started her labor).

Only one more to go. :o)


Elsie Cleaning a Newborn (#7)

Here's brief footage of Elsie cleaning up pup #7 (warning, the video might be a little icky sticky for some, though I think it's beautiful).

It's amazing to me how "rough" Elsie is. But by this time she really knows what she's doing. Her licking stimulates the puppy to breathe and gets the pups circulation going. And she's really a lot more gentle than it appears.

I was a little worried about this pup when she arrived because she was quieter than the rest and a little slow to get started (made no noise at all to start, unlike her sibs). But Elsie knew exactly what to do.

And pup #7 is thriving now. So, enjoy!

We Had One More Hold Out! That's NINE!

Yup... count 'em...NINE puppies now, for a total of 4 boys and 5 girls.

The last little girl arrived at just before 3 a.m. this morning. We decided she was waiting for Dear Daughter Sarah, who was working in DE until midnight last night, to get home to see at least one puppy born. :o) Sarah was here for her delivery!

That's 29 hours of labor for Elsie, bless her heart. But she did a fabulous job. What a trooper.

Oh... it's 6:20 a.m. now, and DH (who just got up...he went to bed after cleaning Elsie up after the first seven pups thinking Elsie was done), just came out to tell me Elsie delivered one of our missing afterbirths.

Now we're just missing two.

We're not out of this yet.

Hang in there Elsie Girl.


Well...Here's What I Was Going to Post

I was going to post this picture and say "the gang's all here" or "here's the litter" or "Introducing Elsie's Pups" or something like that.

She was done with contractions; we got her shampooed; she ate a little something; she went outside to pee and poop; we cleaned out the whelping box; we put in fresh bedding; she and the pups slept and nursed together.

And then, don't you know, a little caboose decided to announce his presence.

That's right... Elsie had #8 on the way. He arrived at 12:30 a.m., so he's the only one whose birthday is August 26th. Everybody else was born on the 25th.

So now the count is 4 girls and 4 boys.

But we're still missing 3 afterbirths (by our count). So she may still expel them tonight.

She's been at this for 28 hours now, but is resting comfortably.

Time to put more coffee on.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Puppy Pile Sings

Well, it appears Elsie's labor is in a lull. It's been two hours since pup #5 came, and she hasn't had any indication of contractions since.

She's happy, hungry, thirsty, alert, and interested in her pups. She even took a tap while the five nursed.

So while we're waiting for pups 6 & 7, enjoy this quick video of the Five-Pup-Puppy-Pile singing!

(Again, you'll have to wait a minute or two while YouTube processes it, but it's been uploaded there already.)

Puppy Pics - While I Have a Minute

Elsie still has two pups to go, and it's been an hour since she delivered the last one. But she's been resting comfortably all this time (her contractions are taking a break, I think). But she's getting restless again, so I need to be quick.

Here are a few pictures (the correct video of an actual birth is uploading now - but it's taking a while).

Enjoy these in the meantime.

Pup on Scale (Gotta luv the puppy noises)

Here's one of the pups being weighed. Make sure your sound is on. :o)

It's Boy #2

Born 5:29 p.m. EDT. Came out feet and tail first, then butt, then head a little later.

Fox red again, but a little darker.

Weighs almost the same as the first, but is longer in length.

Am posting video soon (just takes more time).


It's a Fox Red Boy!

Number one pup is here, and he's a fox red boy!

Born 4:29 p.m. EDT. :o)

Lots more pics and video to come (just no time right this sec).

No Pups Yet, But Still Okay

We've talked to the vet a few times now. It's been almost four hours since her first "waters" appeared, and she's been in labor (though not strenuous) for about 17 hours. She's still leaking, but it's all still yellow or yellow-brown (and it's not much... more like drips).

Elsie's doc is not concerned, at least not yet. He prefers to ride it out with Labs (so few need emergency c-sections and usually always end up pushing the pups out).

And Elsie hasn't really strained at all yet, and she keeps going in and out of contractions. He seemed to think we could have a few more hours of this without risk to the pups or Elsie.

He said we really need to be concerned if she's straining, but has no progress. That hasn't happened yet, and she IS making progress.

Here's her latest nesting attempts (in better light). :o) Again, it will be viewable when YouTube finishes processing it in a few minutes.

It may be a VERY long evening and night (especially since we were up all night with her last night, too, and we have two kids to get to colleges tomorrow). Yikes.

Elsie comes first right now, and the boys know that (and are patient and understanding about it). DD is already at school, but texting frequently to check status.

So that's where we stand.

Stay tuned.

Joan (who trust the vet implicitly, but can't help but be concerned, especially since the last and only other whelping we went through lasted only 12 hours from labor to completion of afterbirth of the last puppy -- we're 18 hours into this now, with no pups showing yet).

Holding Our Breath

It's been over an hour since the first pup's outer sac broke (lots of yellow sticky liquid discharge). That's not a good thing (that's we haven't seen the pup yet).

BUT, though she's having contractions, Elsie's not really straining. And she's alert and doesn't seem distressed.

She's also interested in bouillon and ice cubes.

She seems okay. I'm concerned about her pups (a pup should come within and hour of the outer sac breaking -- normally).

I just talked to the vet. He said to give her another 20 minutes. Then to call back.

Pray this pup comes very soon, and that Elsie can deliver it. Otherwise the whole litter and Elsie could be at risk.


Update - Progress: HER WATER BROKE!

She's still at it.

Elsie's been in Stage One for thirteen hours now (there are three stages of whelping: labor, birth, and afterbirth).

She's finally sleeping right now (though breathing rapidly while she does). She was nesting all night.

I finally grabbed about 3 hours of sleep (from 6 to 9 a.m.) while hubby hung out with her (he had three hours of sleep earlier in the night).

But Elsie was up most of the time. She's had some chicken broth and ice cubes. And a quick nap.

And Dear Daughter's significant other stopped by on his way home from work (in the ER) to check on Elsie. She's resting with him in the photo.

And now (JUST THIS MOMENT) it appears the water from the first pup may have broken.

Gotta run. Stay tuned (and yes, we've talked to the vet already once today). :o)


Update: She's in Labor

It's 3:00 a.m. here, and Elsie is definitely in labor.

She's been "nesting" now for nearly four hours (digging in her whelping box, moving papers around, walking circles in the box, etc.).

She hasn't slept at all. Neither have I. :o)

She's panting, occasionally shivering, occasionally whimpering, but is otherwise fine. I can see her contractions, but they aren't as intense as they will be, I'm sure.

She's not eating, of course, but does like an ice cube now and then (she's not too interested in drinking, but I figured ice cubes would keep her hydrated).

She's been outside twice in the last five hours (emptied her bladder and bowels both times).

I woke hubby up about twenty minutes ago, because both sons (who are leaving this weekend for their respective colleges) have gone up to bed, and I didn't want to leave Elsie to wake Don if I needed him. So we're both standing vigil.

Now Elsie has quieted down and is actually laying in the whelping box (something she hasn't done all night).

I suspect she's getting close.

Stay tuned.

Oh, I posted a video of Elsie nesting at YouTube (a trial run... I've never done this before, but I wanted to try it once before we try videoing the pups' deliveries).

WARNING TO PARENTS OF YOUNG CHILDREN (or easily offended readers): While I was recording Elsie's nesting actions, on the camera, my college-age sons were watching "Man of the Year" (with Robin Williams as a comedian running for President). The video picks up the soundtrack of the movie in the background, and the dialog contains some really crass things, (which you can clearly hear). Just turn off (or turn down) the volume of the video recording of Elsie if you don't want your kids to hear the movie soundtrack in the background (or if you would be offended). I think you all know me well enough by now to know my blog is always family friendly, so I was mortified when I heard some of the jokes on the soundtrack in the background behind Elsie's digging antics. I just wanted to give you a "heads up."

I think you should be able to view the video right here (if I did this correctly... patience, please...I'm on my third cup of coffee, I've had no sleep, and I'm soon to be a puppy grandma!). Just remember to reduce the volume if you don't want to hear the background dialog from the movie.

The clip below will be playable as soon as You Tube finishes processing it.

I'll be back in a bit with further updates!

Send your thoughts and prayers this way! We could use them!


Friday, August 24, 2007

Whelping Supplies are Ready!

Well, Elsie's temperature dropped even more tonight. She's down to 97.8 (first time she's been below 98).

I think we'll have pups in the next 12 hours. :o)

So I'm doing the first shift of watching Elsie, while DH catches some Zzzs. I'll wake him up once Elsie goes into active labor.

She still hasn't eaten. And she's started hiding between the couch and end table (can only fit her head there) and started digging at the carpet there for the first time this evening. I think she's "nesting."

I keep bringing her back to the whelping box, where she stays for a time, then meanders again.

She's restless, and will be. Probably most of the night.

So, I spent the last two hours gathering our supplies and setting up our whelping station. :o)

Here it is:
So here's our whelping supply list:
  • our Vet's phone number ;o)
  • whelping box (with heat light, newspapers, towels)
  • more towels for rubbing puppies
  • birth weight record charts (clipboard)
  • digital scale
  • lubricating jelly (Vaseline)
  • dental floss (for tying umbilical cords if necessary)
  • antiseptic for dogs
  • canine cleansing wipes (for cleaning up Elsie)
  • puppy formula
  • puppy nursing kit (bottle, nipples, etc.)
  • bulb syringe (for suctioning, if necessary)
  • seven colors of rickrack (like ribbon, but not shreddable) for identify puppies - we'll tie these around their necks, and change them every few days
  • plastic bin lined with sheepskin for puppies during subsequent deliveries
  • warm compress for under sheepskin to keep puppies warm
  • extra sheepskin bedding for after delivery
  • extra newspapers
  • bright lantern flashlight (in case we lose electrical power, which has been known to happen here)
  • camera
  • extra camera batteries
  • extra warming lamp bulb
  • bouillon/chicken broth (for Elsie)
  • easy food for us, the human caregivers (granola bars, fruit, etc.)
Oh, and one more thing.

Perhaps a VERY important .

COFFEE CENTRAL (I just brewed a fresh pot):

Well, firstborn male child (of the human variety) tells me Elsie is digging in the whelping box.

I think I'd better get back to her.

Puppies should be here soon!

'Til next time,