Monday, September 15, 2008

Growth on Several Fronts

We're growing on all kinds of fronts these days!
  • Tuc is growing up.
  • Elsie is growing increasingly uncomfortable.
  • Kenya and Pinot are growing more protective of Elsie.
  • And I'm growing more...well,... overwhelmed (?) or stressed (?) or excited (?) or hyyper-aware (?) or vigilent (?) every day we get closer to delivery time.

1. First, Tuc.

All of a sudden, Tuc can reach places he never could before. I remember when this sudden sprouting happened with my human kidlets, but it was never THIS FAST. Yikes! It wasn't even this fast with Pinot. So Tuc has experienced a growth spurt apparently overnight. Just look at how grown-up he looks (!):

I suppose his recent stretch has something to do with that long body and those long back legs of his:

Of course, growing in stature doesn't mean he's growing in maturity (ha!). He's still the imp he ever was, if not more so, now that he can conquer new and intriguing worlds previously unreachable to him (we may actually have to gate the pantry; we've never had a pantry thief before!):

He's an imp, no doubt about it. But we love every bit of him! :o) He's our guy!

2. Second, Elsie.

She's growing more uncomfortable by the hour it seems:

She's restless, panting a lot, and clearly uncomfortable. BUT she ate breakfast this morning, and her temperature is still running between 100 and 101, so I think we have a few days yet. When she enters Stage 1 Labor (or when she gets close to its onset) she'll probably refuse food, will start nesting like crazy (digging, like she's building a nest), her temperature will drop to 98 or below, and she'll become even more restless than she already is. When her temperature drops, we'll know to expect pups within about 12 hours (though it was more like 24 last time).

Even so, we pulled out, cleaned, and set up the whelping box yesterday. We also inventoried all our whelping supplies, and then I went out and picked up whatever we needed to make sure we're ready to go at a moment's notice (you never know with whelping). I posted about our whelping set-up last August, but I'll post about it again in the next day or so (we've made some minor changes to things).

I will say I'm SO thankful I took detailed notes when Elsie went into labor last summer. I have at least a little idea of what to expect (if all goes well and normally anyway). But just like humans, each canine labor and delivery is different.

In any case, after I get done washing and sterilizing everything today, we'll be all set. :o) In the meantime, the Sweet Elsie Girl follows me everywhere and wants to touch me all the time -- typical, normal behavior in a pregnant Lab.

She needn't worry; we'll be here for her every step of the way. :o)

3. Kenya and Pinot.

Yup, the other girls have become very tender and protective with Elsie. It's heartwarming to see.

They nestle close and don't rough-house with her at all. And whenever they lie down together, one of them always lies in front of her belly, almost like they're protecting her precious cargo.

What's interesting is that this in not their typical behavior with Elsie. And, to boot, it's been in the 90s here (way too hot to "spoon" in a puppy pile). I can't explain it other than to think they "know" what's up and are being protective.

Like I said, it's heartwarming. What a picture of faithfulness they are! :o)

4. And me.

Well, I haven't quite lost my marbles yet. :o) Some days it feels close. But, as dear hubby is so apt to remind me, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

So, here's to nibbling!

'Til next time,


Thoughts said...

Wow - Tuc IS getting big and FAST! Its amazing!

Keep us updated on Elsie!

Katherine Klegin said...

sweetest post ever. Tuc is growing up WAY too fast. And I do love how the girls are protecting Elsie. That is just too precious.

Geegs said...

WOW - Tuc is getting big and fast!!! he doesn't even look like the same dog except for the pantry pic!

My thoughts are with you and Elsie.. here's hoping for a safe and complicted free delivery.

Thanks again for responding to my e-mail the other day. I haven't had a chance to sit down and actually formulate a response but it is coming!

Theresa said...

That Tucster is just amazing - he looks so much like his Momma Ellie and she is also the consumate pantry thief. We bought baby locks like zip ties that are reusable and that worked. If its any consolation, she has learned not to get into the pantry - now that she's 3! Hugs and kisses to that Beautiful Elsie girl - call if you need any help - The Sundancer Gang

Jamie said...

Puppies, puppies, puppies....Do we have them yet? Saw momma Joan briefly this morning before she left to tend to Elsie who had dropped temp and not eaten breakfast. Oh boy, Oh boy