Friday, December 05, 2008
True or False?
In October we bred our dog Zurri. Let me rephrase that...we TRIED to breed Zurri. First, we found out the stud we've had lined up for a year was sterile. $300 to find out a dog that isn't ours doesn't have what it takes.
Then we had to scramble to find a new stud within 24 hours. (this is difficult when you're looking for certain criteria, like has the dog gotten their hip/elbow/heart/thyroid certifications?) The new stud arrived to our house extremely overweight, and was too fat to do the job! UGH! We ended up having to do an artificial insemination instead. Another $300.
Then on what would have been day 30, we did an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy, only to find NO PUPPIES! Cost? $100
Because this was AI, and sometimes timing is fluky, we repeated the ultrasound the following week. Still no puppies, but we weren't charged for the U/S.
Now, try telling the dog, who clearly wants to be a mother, that she's not pregnant! She's going through a false pregnancy. And yet, in the back of my mind I think "she could be hiding ONE in there!" She's gained 6 pounds, her nipples have changed, and she's lost her tuck. I know breeders who've had this happen, so I know it's possible. Well, it's possible to have all these changes and NO puppy, and it's possible to have all these changes, yet see none on ultrasound, and still have one puppy. While one puppy would pay for all our breeding costs listed above, a singleton puppy is never what a breeder wants. Granted, we have a good stable pack here so the puppy would get the teaching it needs, but a singleton misses something in puppy development that the breeder has to bend over backwards to replicate.
Well, my dog who isn't supposed to be pregnant keeps getting herself stuck under the back deck, trying to make herself a den. This behavior is normally seen at this stage of a pregnancy when the mother is trying to find a safe place to deposit puppies. They're not always smart about this though, and find weird places. Wouldn't the warm "den" we have for her in the house be more desireable than outside under the deck when it's 10 degrees outside?
Anyway, this morning she was REALLY stuck. It's a big deck, so she was about 15 feet away from the opening and couldn't get turned around. I thought I was going to have to start pulling boards off to get her out. Finally I went and got a hot dog (this dog will do ANYTHING for hot dogs!) and went to the hole where she had gone in. The noise from under the deck sounded like she was remodeling under there! Finally she managed to get out, snarfed down her hot dog, then tried to go under again. GAH! I caught her just in the nick of time. We'll have to watch her close. The vet said she's had some dogs with a false pregnancy go as far as starting early labor before their body realizes it's useless. I sure hope we won't have THAT going on! Then again...one puppy would pay for the money we have into this breeding. And one puppy is easier in some ways than the litters of 13 that we've had in the past.
If the breeding stuck, her due date is December 11th (give or take a couple of days) so I guess we'll just keep watching her!