One thing I have discovered – these podengos are very determined little dogs, and one of the things they are determined about is to get to the very end of their pregnancy. No having puppies a few days before the due date for them! With their bellies dragging on the ground, and bodies as wide as they are long, Emma and Caldas happily continue with normal life, as the first due date approaches and passes, and then the next…No stress for them, just for me! I cleared my calendar for two weeks so that I could be at home with them, and it seemed to me that they were just waiting for me not to be there, so they could get on with things on their own.
Caldas was the first to finally decide that the time had come. She was getting frustrated by one thing – an Olympic level jumper who was always on top of everything in a flash, she was now annoyed by the fact that she couldn’t jump on top of the crate or the kitchen table any more. She would stand there looking up, muscles tensed, thinking about how easy it should be, and then with a sigh of resignation, gave in to the size of her belly which did not allow this any more. So perhaps it was finally time to get rid of this obstacle…
It was now a day or so past her due date. She started to show signs of restlessness, and her propeller of a tail was much more active than usual, so she was confined in her whelping pen, next to me in the salon. This was not to her liking. Her plans were to whelp in my bed, or if that did not work, then at least on the sofa…No way, I told her.
Now began the act of the poor, pitiful, suffering little podengo. Podengos have some very interesting vocalizations which are hard to describe, such as the little purr of contentment when you pick them up, the little yips when they want something…In this case, the act included trembling, yipping, bouncing up and down like a rubber ball at the gate of the whelping pen, belly and all, all the time watching to see what my reactions were. I was determined, this time she would not whelp in my bed. This conflict of interests went on for some time, but finally, Caldas decided that I was serious, and she got down to the business of having her puppies.
I have seen many puppies born in my years with dogs, and many bitches giving birth, but this is the first time I have ever seen a bitch give birth with a constantly wagging tail. The only time the extremely vigorous tail wags stopped was at the moments of strong contractions and at the actual delivery of the puppies. The rest of the time, non stop wagging – no one could ever think that she was not happy about having puppies!
The puppies were born quite quickly – three big strong pups, two females and one male, each one weighing close to 300 grams (quite enormous for a bitch who weighs maybe 4 kilo in total herself), and born ready for the milk bar. Everything was kept spotlessly clean. Caldas was in podengo heaven – she loves puppies!
She has very particular ideas of how she wants to care for her pups. Her whelping bed has a pile of blankets and newspapers underneath. She very systematically tears up the newspapers, arranges them in a very specific pile, arranges the blankets very carefully, and then picks up each puppy (not easy for this little bitch to pick up these enormous, squirming puppies) and puts it exactly where she wants it. If a puppy crawls off, it is picked up and put back in its proper place. The final touch is her curled up around them all.
Now that the pups have passed two weeks of age, they are much too big for her to pick up. But she still manages to keep them arranged the way she wants. But the coming weeks may not be so easy for her….
Emma was due a few days after Caldas. Her belly was really almost dragging on the ground, and she wanted to spend all of her time cuddling. Not having puppies, just cuddling. She was very interested in Caldas’ puppies, and was ready to steal them, but this didn’t seem to convince her to produce her own. The due date came and went, and there were no signs of imminent delivery. Finally, after the second due date had come with no signs of any progress, I decided to take her to my vet, just to check her out.
|Dreaming of puppies...|
Everything was fine, no drop in temperature, good appetite…Nothing to do but wait. No reason to be stressed. But during the conversation, my vet mentioned the possibility of a caesarian if there should be any problems.
Emma is very good at listening to everything that is being said around her. She heard this conversation and decided that maybe waiting indefinitely was not a good idea. While I was still at the vet, she started to poke around the room looking for a comfortable corner. Caesarian…no, no, no, that was not something she was interested in hearing about.
Once we were home, she continued to behave normally – cuddling and cuddling and cuddling. She did start digging around a bit in the bed and on the sofa. But there was no way she was going to agree to go into a whelping pen. So that night she was allowed in bed with me as usual, and I put the whelping pen next to the bed. So when she started having contractions next to me under the blankets, I was able to put her in her proper place. Got you!!! By now, she was occupied with delivering the puppies, so she accepted it.
Emma also had three puppies, also enormous, all females. She is also an extremely devoted mother that keeps everything absolutely spotless. However, she does not carry her puppies around, she manages to keep them properly organized without this.
So for now, things are calm and happy around the house, each girl busy with her own little ones. The next chapter, with six little podengo puppies running around under my feet, may be less calm….