It started at 3:00 in the morning on May 1st, but I did not hear it. Aida did - she was sleeping in the same room as Margo. Margo is a yellow lab mix, probably with German Shepherd. Sweetest girl you could meet. And VERY VERY pregnant. We knew it was time, because her temperature had dropped below 99 degrees F. The first clue I had was right after I made the alarm noise stop at 5:30. "Dave, bring the towels and dental floss and scissors, HURRY!" Margo had been in labor since 3, and the first pup was arriving to greet the world. Hey, at least she was kind enough to wait for the alarm...
Margo is young, still very much a puppy herself. You can tell by her demeanor. She had NO clue what to do with this pup. We helped get the sac open, stimulate the pup to breathe, and tie off the umbilical cord. That last part was tough, since the placenta had not come out yet. It was a girl, and she was all brown, with a hint of black along her back and tail. She looked healthy and she went straight to work on that nipple. Number 2 was also a girl, and also all brown. So were numbers 3 and 4. Finally a boy joined us with number 5 a few minutes shy of 7:00, right along with his sister - two popped out at the same time. The next two were males, but number 7 never took a breath. :-( By the time she was finished at 11:33, Margo had delivered 10 live puppies. Every single one of them looked identical, brown with hints of black.
We are guessing they are German Shepherd Dog (GSD) mixes. Time will tell, or at least hint. So far, everyone is healthy and nursing, with assists from Aida to ensure everyone gets their share. Ten pups and eight teats, gotta keep the runts fed. Margo seems to have figured things out, and is bouncing back quickly. Oh, and many thanks to Deanne who came over early to assist Aida and Margo.
It occurred to me while watching the births that this is something every child should have an opportunity to watch. Even to assist with. Seeing the one that was stillborn is also a lesson - there is life and death side by side. NO, I am NOT advocating that everyone go out and breed their dogs so the kids can watch. Lord knows there are too many unfixed pets out there now. But if you learn that pups are a-poppin, it is a great educational experience for your kids. Another good reason to volunteer for a rescue.
Watch our site (www.pawfectmatch.org) in about five to six weeks when we post these pups for adoption. They are sure to be cute!