The first surprise was when Lila had a ninth puppy, when we were only expecting eight. How many years of vet school, wasted, on reading that x-ray incorrectly, I wonder? (yes, I know I'm being way too harsh)
Technically, that wasn't the first surprise. The initial one happened after she had had her first puppy and then had been having hard contractions for over an hour. So , as per instructions, I called the vet. "Bring her on in" they said.
Easier said then done. She REALLY did NOT want to leave her whelping box and cozy blankets while she was in labor and take a drive. But we (and by we I mean me) wrapped her baby up in a warm towel and put a blanket in the back seat of the car and started driving.
We made it about 10 miles before the puppy came. After pulling over, helping clean her up (yay, another girl!) and placing her with her sister in the basket, we continued on our way to the vet.
When we got there, the vet assistants stormed out of the building to get the puppies and bring them in. I would bring Lila in. As I was getting her out of the car (which she REALLY didn't want to leave) I noticed that she was in fact having another puppy. I yelled to the assistants to bring me another towel.
As Lila and I stood in the gravel on the side of Hwy 26 with the rain pounding down on us, a puppy halfway out, and cars and trucks spraying us as they rushed by I contemplated my options. Who am I kidding, I didn't have any. I grabbed the blanket out of the back seat of the car and got a better grasp on the large puppy, still halfway in the birth canal. (Did I mention I have no animal science background?) Lila chose that moment to make a giant leap back INTO the car leaving me with the puppy (Hurray! a boy!!) but taking all the placenta, after birth and whatever else with her...where there IS NO LONGER ANY BLANKET.
The vet assistants and I just stood there for a second, staring at this seriously amazing disaster. There is Lila, on the far side of the back seat eating the placenta. This is just so wrong.
A little background. I currently drive a car my Dad left me when he went to be with the Lord. It is a champagne colored,plush interior, newer Mercury something or other. You know, the kind Grampa would drive on Sunday to go play golf at the club.
Now it looks like a couple violent crimes have been committed back there. I apologize ahead of time to anyone who has to ride with me anywhere. Sorry. Really sorry.
The vet came out to check Lila, gave her a shot to continue her contractions and sent us on our way.
Poor Lila. We never should have left home. I drove quickly with my eyes on the rear view mirror more often than not. (Sorry green Jeep Cherokee by the Oregon Candy Farm that I almost hit)
Got home, finally and went and opened Lila's door. She leaped out( can you even imagine leaping when you are in labor?) leaving a fourth puppy (panic beginning to set in, didn't check for gender) on seat, fully encased in membrane.
I rubbed the membrane off his/her tiny little face with the increasingly nasty blanket and turned around to call Lila so we(by "we" I definitely mean her) could "clean up" the back seat from the newest birth.
She was gone.
I knew immediately what she was thinking. "Fine. You take those puppies. I'll keep the rest. I'll just go find somewhere quiet and peaceful where I can be alone."
I rushed the basket of puppies into the house and ran back into the rain and began searching for Lila. I called Brenda first and asked her and the kids to pray for Lila to come home.
After 35 minutes, Buddy and I finally found her. Well, truthfully, she came back down the trail by herself.
When she came in the house, she went directly to her box and promptly had another puppy. Final count was four girls and five boys.
Oops! One last surprise. I counted wrong. Six boys and three girls. Porsche, Hummer, Chevy, Maserati, Jeep,Mercedes, Ford, Duramax, and Dodger. Lila has been with them, feeding, cleaning and cuddling nonstop.
It is just incredible thinking about how God created these dogs with the abilities to so naturally know how to care for their babies. I am amazed. And I am thankful that they are all healthy and Lila is doing so well too. Counting my blessings today. :-)