Although Caldas seemed to be very reluctant to give up her sex life – she seemed to be in season and begging for male attention for longer than any bitch I have known – she finally was finished, to Habibi’s great relief. She soon began to show the signs that she was pregnant. As her belly grew and grew, she found it more and more difficult to leap onto things way over her head, and to squeeze out of fences and pens. However, knowing her proclivities, I arranged a whelping pen for her in the kitchen, with a nice big crate with comfortable bedding, surrounded by a very nice strong puppy fence. She inspected it and approved, and this became her sleeping place at night.
By the time a month had passed, her belly was very apparent, and as the days went on, she began to look as if she had swallowed a football. This did not at all dampen her spirits or influence her to behave in a more matronly fashion, but it was really funny to watch her making her leaps in the air for attention with this huge belly. She also was very solicitous of Habibi’s attention – even though technically nothing had happened, she seemed to believe that these puppies were his. Habibi was not very interested…
It was getting difficult for her to control herself for more than a few hours. One night, I was rudely awakened by Caldas leaping on my head in the bed with a wildly beating tail, to tell me that I had to get up and let her out, time to pee! What a good girl! But then I realized that to do this, it meant she had jumped out of the whelping pen. How, I really don’t know, she is much cleverer than I am at figuring out things like that.
So now it was necessary to build a roof on the whelping pen, which I did, with some pieces of fencing which I tied on across the top. And my night schedule now regularly included a three a.m. pee break for Caldas.
She also was eating more erratically, as obviously her stomach, pressed on all sides by these developing pups, could not hold very much food. She was getting several small meals a day – this made the other dogs very jealous, and made Caldas very happy.
As the expected date for the whelping approached, I kept watching for signs. Well, yes, she was roaming around the house, nosing here, scratching around there, checking out the sofa and the dog baskets, and obviously looking for a good place. But no stress, no panting, no introverted expression…
The week she was due, my schedule was planned so that I would be at home almost all the time. This was her first litter, and my experience with little dogs whelping was not vast, and I wanted to be with her. The days went by, no signs of imminent puppies…
Saturday we had a dog show, and the other two podengos, Monte the prospective father and Emma, were entered. I would only be away for a few hours. I carefully watched Caldas’ behavior in the morning – she was as active and chipper as ever. She ate her breakfast and looked at me – “I am fine, you can go, nothing is happening.”
So off we went to the dog show, where Monte and Emma did very well. And in a few hours I was home.
And there was Caldas, on my bed, on the pillow, with three big fat clean active podengo puppies. She had managed – and don’t ask me how! – to get out of the whelping pen, even with her enormous stomach, and had gone to her chosen spot. No mess around the house, and not even any mess on the bed – the puppies were born on the pillow and she had cleaned everything very thoroughly. She was extremely pleased with herself – “You see, I had to wait for you to go away. I knew where I wanted to have my puppies, and since you didn’t understand that, well, I just had to wait so I could do it alone!”
I love primitive dogs!