I mentioned yesterday that I'd introduced Kenya to her whelping box over the past two days. This shot was taken yesterday afternoon.
Here's Kenya now (literally as I write this - I'm sitting at the kitchen table, the corner of which you can see in the bottom right of the picture, and this is where I'll be parked for blogging for the next six weeks):
Kenya started nesting this morning. So I threw bunches more towels in the whelping box for her to dig in and push around (typical nesting behavior).
She's restless, uncomfortable, panting (I would be too if I had all those babies stomping on my internal organs) and trying to find corners in which to hide (part of the nesting thing).
She didn't eat breakfast. Her temp is 100.2 (not down far enough to indicate pre-labor, but lower than yesterday).
And now she's sleeping.
No... I don't really think delivery is immanent. I suspect we still have a couple days. But her nesting behavior this morning reminded me of just how close we are to our next litter.
This will be our first litter since the dreaded "P" word became a household word here and gave us our own little ICU ward at the vet's. Long-time, regular Labtails readers know exactly what I'm talking about (how could we forget!). For those of you who are new to LabTails, click on the November 2008 archive link in this page's left margin to see what happened (starting early November). Or you can track that litter's unfolding story through September, October, and November, 2008.
Am I ready? Well... on one hand, no, not even close (I'm not sure I'll ever be "ready" again). On the other... as ready as I'm ever going to be.
Oh, trust me, we're prepared! If you thought our preparations, sanitation, and protective measures were extraordinary before the P-word experience, you can be sure we're down-right neurotic now. We may not even allow puppy-visitations for the next new families this time (though we're still weighing that). Dr. Wagner keeps assuring me we did everything right last time; we did all we could and then some. Sometimes poo just happens (another P-word -- same category in my mind!), despite all care.
And that's exactly why I'll never quite be "ready" again.
I know too much now.
Oh, I knew to expect things like tube-feeding or stillbirths or puppies who suffocate under their moms (all of which we've dealt with). And I know those, and many other things, are very real possibilities again. But I can actively do something to guard against those things (or I can try).
But I can't control whether or not some bird, who also happened to be in some park or yard miles away where the Parvo virus is alive in the environment, flies in and lands on our deck where the puppies will play bringing who-knows-what-kind of virus with it. People-shoes won't enter our puppy areas at all unless steeped in bleach first; bird feet are another story.
I'm scared spit-less. I have more than just an idea now of what can go wrong (as in, really wrong). And I don't like knowing.
But DH keeps telling me we just have to get back on the horse. It's either that or never ride again.
So, my foot's in the stirrup (nervously), and I'm hoping not to fall off or be stomped on or get dragged away to who-knows-where. More than anything I want to ride this litter safely through to their placement in wonderful forever homes.
And, like so much of life, the only way out is through.
Ready or not, this litter is coming, and we're going for a ride.
Let's just hope it's a tear-free ride this time.
'Til next time,