Happy 4th of July!

Thank you for joining us on the tail end, no pun intended, of our maiden voyage of both mine and Ula’s first litter of pups. Preparing for a litter and getting things in order, which will make it easier for subsequent litters, has been a huge undertaking. It’s been both a stressful and exciting time, but well worth it.  I’ve had wonderful guidance by Ula’s breeder and the Master Herbalist I work with, and for that I am blessed.

Ula has been very healthy prior to conception and the pregnancy has gone well. She’s gotten picky about what she wants to eat, especially when she moved into her third trimester, but other than that I think she’s done very well. The pickiness has led me to defrosting a variety of meats at a time, hoping that one of them would suit her mood and her tummy. What kind of meat has she eaten throughout her pregnancy? beaver, muskrat, rabbit, goat, lamb, alpaca, beef tripe, chicken, emu, sardines, salmon, herring, trout and whiting. She will eat duck, but the necks and feet only. As far as veggies and fruit go, she has eaten watermelon, canteloupe, red peppers, romaine lettuce, and apricots. Not much as she’s focused mainly on meat sources.

Day 1, May 6, 2017 at 9:30 a.m., Ula and Laddie conceived. Ula weighed 49lbs.

Day 10, May 15, 2017, Ula measured 19 inches before eating. Unfortunately, we did not take an initial measurement. We could see her body changing right away and knew she would be expecting in about 60 days.

Day 24, May 29, 2017, Ula measured 21¼ inches prior to eating.

Day 33, June 7, 2017, Ula measured 21¼ inches prior to eating.

Day 52, June 26, 2017,  was the first time we felt the pups move. Amazing!

Day 60, today, of Ula’s pregnancy, which should be her due date. So far, it’s 12:21 p.m. and all is calm. Both her dam and grandam whelped on Day 60, so we will see what Ula’s body does. We’re praying for a safe and timely delivery of all the little blessings.

At 1:30 p.m., I offered Ula whole, ground chicken. She ate about ½ lb. This is normal. With all the pups there isn’t much space for her organs in particular her stomach. So, she eats smaller meals throughout the day as she feels led.  Dam’s also cut back before whelping in preparation for the delivery. She’s been taking her herbs for nutritional support and in preparation for the Big Event.

Now, who is Ula. Ula is a black with minor white English Shepherd with a curly tail who will soon be the proud momma of up to 10 ‘lil lads and/or lasses. Laddie, or Lad, as we sometimes call him, is a tri color English Shepherd male, who is the proud poppa of the much anticipated litter.

So, what color pups are we expecting? The possibilities are black and white, black and tan, tri-color, and seal. I am hoping for a sable, also, as Lad’s dam is sable.  How many boys and girls and how many pups total? All unknown. This is the joy of surprises and not being able to peek before it’s time.

3:38 p.m. All is still quiet. Ula is panting due to the heat, not labor. Resting. She will be taking another walk shortly and offered more food. She has a full bowl of clean water to drink from at all times. Ula measured 28¾ inches around her waist and 33½ inches around her middle/ribcage.

6:40 p.m. Still quiet. Ula and Laddie are hanging out and panting from the heat.

10:30 p.m. Ula came in a little while ago after spending some time outside. It was cooler and it gave her time to Earth or Ground. About 10:30 p.m. she let out a short, quick groan. A few have followed over the last 20 minutes. So, we’ll see if this leads to her being in active labor.

11:30 p.m. Ula ate some crunchy ends of romaine lettuce. Then ate 12 good size raw, whole ground chicken meatballs that I hand fed to her. No, I don’t normally feed her by hand, but a little TLC every now and again isn’t so bad, right? It’s looking like the pups won’t be born on the 4th of July. Apparently, they needed more time inside their momma.

No puppies were born today.