We have puppies due sometime between Thursday and September 1st. The new sleeping arrangements have to do with getting the first-time dog mom used to her "nest" so she doesn't get the wild idea to have her puppies somewhere else, like our bed!
There is a little piece of magic about dog births (called whelping, for those of you new to this) and that is the expected event can usually be predicted within 24 hours by monitoring the dog's temperature twice a day for several days prior to day 58 of the pregnancy. There is a sudden rise, then a drop to 98*, at which time you know labor will start within 24 hours. How nice is that?
Our dog Rubee never read that book, however. With each litter she had, I took her temperature morning and night, hoping to find a pattern to her temperature rhythms, but there were none to be found. Finally, on her very last litter, there was that magic drop! Sure enough, she went into labor 12 hour later. I knew we were in trouble when just a few hours later she hadn't produced a puppy yet, and I knew by xray the previous week there were 10 in there. As soon as office hours rolled around I loaded her up into the car and got her to the vet, where we ended up doing an emergency c-section. It turned out to be a situation our very experienced vet had only seen twice in his entire 30 year career. I laughed...he doesn't know our family very well!
Anyway, when it was Zurri's turn, she wasn't really a "basement" type of girl like Rubee was. Rubee LOVED the cave-like feel of the basement. Zurri...mmm...not so much. She is more of a princess diva type. (she is a standard poodle, after all!) So for her we moved the whelping box to the living room where she could keep tabs on everyone! Zurri, diva that she is, was more than willing to sleep in the special nest I made just for her. I still slept out on the couch to be near her but Zurri could have cared less I was there; she just loved her fancy bed. Funny...Zurri never followed that temperature rule either, and she never went into labor on her own. That's because she only had one puppy in there, so her hormone levels weren't high enough to cause her to go into labor. She ended up with a c-section too, and we came home with one VERY FAT, singleton puppy.
And now it's Bella's turn. Guess what? Bella is not so impressed with the special nest made just for her. She would rather be under our bed (aka storage space for shoes and out of season clothes) or other cavey place. She might be a basement kind of girl, but I'm not feeling like a basement kind of person myself right now. We just don't spend a lot of time down there these days. Dogs usually like to be where it's kind of quiet and cave-like, away from the hustle and bustle of the household, but I also know Bella doesn't like to be too far away from me, and I'm just not in the basement very much!
So the whelping box was set up in the living room. The last two nights I tried sleeping on the couch next to the whelping box (you can kind of see the couch in the background) but that wasn't good enough for Bella. I woke up with her laying next to me on the couch. NOT gonna work! So here is where Bella AND I are sleeping now, in hopes that I can get her used to this new spot before her babies arrive.
Notice the airbed strategically placed so she can't just leave without me knowing? LOL
She looks pretty comfortable to me!
The other dogs are all messed up now though. Roman doesn't like to be far from my side. He normally sleeps in a soft crate by my side of the bed, so now he's in one next to my airbed. As I type, Dudley, who usually sleeps on the floor at the foot of our bed, is sleeping with his head on my airbed, looking at me like, "So...umm....when do we go to bed for real?"
Rubee and Zurri are totally loyal to Dean and are in the bedroom with him. Oh wait, Zurri is in there because she has taken my place in the bed. There's a name for dogs like her!