Welcome to the ATB blog "J & A's Brittanys" where we love to write about, share stories, post videos and pictures featuring our beautiful, well bred Brittany family bird dogs. With their established and recognized hunting heritage our dogs also measure up to the breed standard regarding health, appearance, movement, and temperament. Enjoy the stories of whelping puppies, tips on field training, bragging rights on accomplishments, sharing joys and sorrow, announcements and as the name implies - ALL THINGS BRITTANY! With a love of God, family, friends, and dog we welcome you.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Introducing the "JACK OF HEARTS" litter

Monday, August 5th 2019 we welcomed the arrival of Jack & Holly Beth's greatly anticipated litter of puppies. We have nicknamed these beautiful 9 Brittany puppies 'the JACK OF HEARTS' litter in honor of their sire.  It is easy to be emotionally overwhelmed at the moment for all the right reasons due to all that is amazing about these puppies. My heart is full and I remain so very grateful to God.

Holly and Jack's first puppy arrived at 3:35 p.m.   Holly and I were heading out of the house together.  I had my arms full of various items to bring into the 'puppy cave' where the pups would be born. Instead of trotting along happily Holly suddenly squatted in front of me. Thinking nothing of it I stood there waiting for her to finish when I noticed that she wasn't just squatting to pee, she was bearing down as if ready to deliver a puppy! Her temperature had only just dropped that morning to 99 so we anticipated Stage One Labor would progress into the afternoon, evening, with pups arriving some time late Tuesday. I never imagined that Stage 1, 2, and 3 would happen all at the same time!

Holly was looking at me as if to say 'what are you waiting for?"  The items in my arms went flying to the ground and I instinctively reached in back of Holly who was still squatting and pushing while staring directly at me. I couldn't see but I could feel the warmth from the amniotic fluid being expelled which was surrounding the translucent bubble like sac safely protecting a beautiful Brittany puppy.  Holly stood up and after another push I knew her puppy would be born right into my hands.

Still attached by the life sustaining umbilical cord, I could actually see the puppy moving inside the translucent sac. Positioned naturally with it's head coming out first I knew that the pup could be left to dangle in mid-air while Holly's contractions continued if I didn't do something. All this time Holly seemed to understand I was acting as her mid-wife as she trusted every move I made. That is not always the case with every laboring dam.

Since this was taking place out on our front lawn there were no forceps or blunt scissors to help with the cord.  There were no towels to help hold a slippery puppy either. By now Holly had twisted around to see how things were going.  As her strong maternal instincts began to take over Holly was becoming more determined to help pull the puppy out.  It was time for me to act and prevent Holly from accidentally hurting her own puppy.

Gently but deliberately I pressed the thumb and forefinger of each hand as if in a pinching position and began to tear at the sac surrounding the pup's head.  As I did the pup moved and Holly wanted to become more involved. I knew one of us had to take care of 'cutting' the cord and so I strategically offered it to Holly while guarding the distance in between the puppy and where she would bite it.

With pup being clear of the sac, fluid, and detached from momma Holly I used my t-shirt like an apron to hold it.  Carefully I began to rub the pup to stimulate it and soon there was the most wonderful sound of a squealing puppy.  By now Holly's instincts were kicked into high gear and she wanted that puppy in her care right then and there. I watched as she pushed once more and the full placenta was expelled!

I really was afraid of slipping or dropping the puppy onto the dirt driveway.  Split seconds passed that seemed like an eternity.  Then. THEN! As if this wasn't enough Holly squatted right in front of the door to the puppy cave and was about to have another puppy! I quickly ran inside, turned the heat lamp on, placed the puppy in the box and returned to coax Holly inside.

Typically I will immediately wipe down and aspirate every pup as it is whelped.  When possible I will do a picture ID and weigh it too.  There is usually time enough in between pups to do this.  That was definitely not the plan for this litter. Fortunately there was time to begin to serve Nursing Mother's Pudding full of necessary calcium to Holly. I had only just made it that morning! She lapped it up.

I'd like to say I'm making a long story short but the fact of the matter is Holly whelped Jacks puppies in less than 3 hours. Did I mention there are 9?  John had left for a brief time for a scheduled appointment before all this happened. We never dreamed Holly would have her puppies before he returned and he wasn't even gone that long!  We stayed in touch through our cell phones  in between each puppy. I made  He was on his way home and when he walked through the door the first 6 of the 9 puppies born were all nursing.

Holly had a brief whelping pause of just under an hour at that point.  I was able to check out each puppy to be sure all was well.  And it was. One thing I was thankful for is that all the whelping supplies were on hand, sterilized, and well organized. Everything was in it's place.

After her whelping pause Holly continued to labor again, quickly delivering three remaining puppies.  X-rays taken on Friday had revealed there would be 9 puppies and sure enough.  As soon as the last puppy was born Holly Beth started to settle.

The pups now are over 24 hours old and just doing so well. They have already started to gain weight. They are indeed strong and thriving.  Holly has been getting pampered. Showered with love, affection, attention, and even spoon fed special foods she is doing well.

Holly is an amazing mother following in the pawsteps of her mother Treasure and grandmother Wish. Likewise Wish followed in her own grandmother's steps. 

There's a roll away bed within a couple of feet of Holly and her puppies.  There is a Pandora Playlist called "Relaxation Radio" playing. It's lovely. It's warm and cozy for the puppies while remaining comfortable for Holly.  There is the adorable sound that newborn puppies make.  In the quiet of this puppy cave there is a sense of peace. All is well. I know it won't be long before the atmosphere is charged with excited Brittany puppies discovering the world around them.  A world that goes beyond their whelping box with momma Holly Beth.

And then there is Jack who, thanks to the miracle of modern science, lives again through these puppies.

Thank you Lord for who You are. For how You work in our lives. For Your faithfulness towards us in every season of our lives. You watch over and protect all that concerns us.  We don't place a greater value over our family upon our  dogs but we do recognize Your hand at work in All Things Brittany.  I do ask also that You will continue to be with us all, and especially as we await the arrival of our great granddaughter in a couple of weeks. There are always needs in all of our lives. Always concerns and worries.  I am thankful that for just a brief time I can seemingly make the world go away caught up in this quiet place.  We are still in the early days of the lives of these puppies and I do realize we must take one day at a time. But as we do, I will always lift my eyes to the hills for I know where our help comes from. Tonight I am weary but so very happy about these puppies.  I am also very tired and my eyes are closing while my words are running on.

Good night all. Take care and God bless.


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