Saturday, September 13, 2008

Elsie: A Week (or less) to Go!

Well, here's the Elsie Girl this morning with seven days to go (give or take) until her pups are due:

And, yes, Don is still calling her "wide load" and "big momma" and "jugs" (you can bet he never called ME those things when I was pregnant!). Hehe... sweet thing. She's not putting up with it though; she only listens to him when he uses her real name (Elsie). :o) Ha!

That's my girl!

And Kenya is back from the vet's. She stayed overnight to have her hips and elbows x-rayed (requires general anesthesia). The vet says she looks good, and we'll send her x-rays to OFA this weekend. If all comes back well (as the vet expects), Kenya will be ready for mating this winter!

She's a sweetie, too, and she and Elsie are buds.

Here's the Kenya Bean "taking care of" her buddy, (Kenya is grooming Elsie's ears):

She and Pinot seem quite protective of Elsie (unlike Tuck, the Imp, who loves to pounce on anything that moves). :o) Ridge is oblivious (I'll refrain from any comments about typical males). ;o)

Thankfully, Elsie doesn't seem to be in any greater discomfort now than she was a week ago.

AND we can FEEL the pups kicking and rolling in her tummy. If Elsie rests in just the right light, we can even SEE their moving bulges. :o)


That makes me feel a bit better -- I was starting to grow concerned that I wasn't feeling as much movement as with Elsie's last litter. BUT she may be carrying fewer puppies this time (just six, not nine), and that would explain not seeing or feeling surface movement as soon.

So, we'll pull out her whelping box tonight or tomorrow to start acclimating her to it. And we'll start limiting the other dogs' access to the kitchen where the litter will stay for the first few weeks. And we're already limiting human visitors (from two weeks before whelping until the pups are six weeks old and have had their complete immunizations up to that age). And over the next few days we'll start the shoes-off-hands-washed routine whenever we're in the kitchen or in contact with Elsie (a mandatory non-negotiable routine once the pups are born -- it protects Elsie and the litter from things we might carry in on our shoes or hands from when we're out in the real world).

We'll also start taking her temperature daily starting tomorrow, and when it drops, lookout!

Stay tuned!

'Til next time,

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