A little more about Lilo. Lilo has puppies at the present, and Habibi is the father. This is a repeat breeding of puppies we had last year that were very successful, Habibi’s first children, three lovely little ones. We met two of them a few weeks ago. Habibi was not very interested, as expected – fatherhood does not make a great impression on dogs.
Lilo, however, is an extremely devoted mother. She has had several litters in her lifetime, and is willing to care for them forever. She never gets tired of them, never loses patience, and is willing to go on feeding them for months, even though they have been eating solid food since they were a few weeks old. If she still has the possibility of access to them, she will turn her four or five month old puppies over and clean them thoroughly.
Canaans, being very natural dogs, take the birth process very much in stride. Bitches of other breeds can be very fussy and pampered, wandering around restlessly, digging, panting, and fussing, and telling the world what a burden pregnancy is, for days before they finally deliver. And then the whelping – well, some bitches can really make use of it to gain a lot of attention and sympathy. Canaans, however, tend to just get on with business.
Lilo certainly doesn’t get worried by such a natural process. This litter was born about an hour after she ate a hearty breakfast and showed no signs of intending to have her puppies in the near future. A few hours later, when I came out to see her, there were the puppies, fat and contentedly nursing, and spotlessly clean.
But Canaans do tend to get strange ideas in their heads. Last time Lilo had puppies, she managed to open the back door, go out behind the house, and dig herself a burrow that would have been big enough for a young elephant. Fortunately, I caught her at it before she decided to put her puppies in it, and the door remained locked for the rest of the time she was with her puppies.
This time, she decided, for some reason that is clear only to a
Canaan, that the whelping box that had been perfectly fine for several litters, was no longer the right environment for her puppies. I found all four puppies in a neat little pile on the floor outside the box. I of course put them back. Next time I came to take a look, they were out again, once again in a neat little pile. This went on for about a week – I put the puppies back on their nice clean bedding, Lilo took them out. She never forgot any of them, never let them wander off – they were always in a nice little group, fat, full, and quiet. Being moved didn’t seem to bother them at all.
Fortunately now the puppies are too big and heavy for her to pick up anymore. Though now, of course, being Canaans, at almost four weeks of age they have no problems climbing out on their own.