It has been a whirlwind of activity in the last 3 weeks...from finding out Jayda (Philomena) was pregnant - to receiving her 1 week later after a long trip from Serbia.  Ultrasound showed 4 puppies with a date of birth Aug 29.  Jayda was growing but not nearly the size (width around her girth) that my other girls had with big litters.  I thought the ultrasound was probably close to accurate - maybe 6 puppies.  Because of her estimated due date I carried through with a work trip to Vancouver Aug 18-21.  I left her in good hands with my husband and daughter in Law Natasha.  Daughter Paige went home on the 20th to check on things...found a few clear puddles on the floor...Jayda had also left several other messes for her to clean up.
Paige has been our resident vet so when she said puppies weren't far enough back for her to have them I rested a little easier thinking that I would make it home before she went into labor.  She refused food on Friday, which was unusual because she is a good eater.  She was also digging holes - trying to hide in the bushes...all signs that labor was near.  On my ride home from the airport I phoned my she wasn't in labor..there were a few clear puddles which we thought were throwing up water puddles.  No heavy puppies.    I arrived home at 9 pm....checked her and noticed she was panting continuously...okay, she's in stage 1 labor....pups most likely Saturday.  Took her temp which was low at 36.2...she had just drank water so thought that was why it was so low...other reason would be that she was close to delivering.  I would take her temp again in 1 hour.   Went to the whelping room and turned on the heater to get the room nice and toasty for the puppies. Sat down with my husband Bruce to review my trip with him...we were interrupted by a squeal...Bruce says "that's a puppy"
I ran into the sunroom and saw this puppy on the floor...Jayda was sitting on the couch.  She was scared and restless and not really seeing that she just gave birth to this male puppy. I was 10:14 pm  I took Jayda and her puppy and brought them to the whelping room. Jayda was restless and frightened -eventually she lay down in the whelping box and delivered a girl at 11:40 pm.  She was much more in tune to what was going on - instincts kicked in and she licked the puppy clean.  Next boy came quickly at 12:10 am with another boy at 12:30 am.  Her contractions were strong and only needed a few pushes with each puppy.  Had a longer whelping pause with the 5th puppy, a girl born at 1:33 am....a boy followed at 1:53 am and another girl right after at 2:03 am.    I worked on each puppy getting that first precious milk - the collostreum that would give the puppies their mom's antibodies. A longer break again...the breaks are always cause for concern as I've had many litters where we've had to pack up and go to the vet because the labor wasn't progressing.  At 3:29 am the 8th puppy, a girl was born with the last puppy, a girl at 3:55 am.  By the time I changed blankets, made sure Jayda was done with delivering, it was 5:30 am....slept till 7 am - went and checked on the new family - Jayda has excellent instincts - even being careful where she was stepping and lying often a new mother or a tired mother, just plops down, not caring what is underneath her.  Went back to sleep till 9 am and the next day of care started.  Jayda is very pleased with her puppies - attends to every squeal and squeal...makes my job so much easier...she also has a good appetite for food which is great to get the milk supply coming in in abundance.  9 puppies are a lot so I will have to make sure she eats enough to feed all of them.  I also need to make sure her calcium supply doesn't get depleted...a deficiency causes lots of anxiety and unreasonable ness with the mother.  I cooked a large patch of potatoes and mashed them with calcium rich products: whipping cream, cottage cheese, sour cream, and cheese....dogs love this concoction!  I also sprinkle fenugreek on the food - an herb that helps the milk come in faster.    I've weighed the puppies twice...some have gained and some have lost....losing 10% of body weight is fairly normal in the first two days...and there's also the greedy ones that always get more than their share.  Since most of the puppies were born on the 22nd, Aug 22 will be the birthdate for these puppies.