On July 4th at 4.30am Honey’s first puppy was born. It was a day of joy and great sadness. Honey noticeably started going into labour at about 4.30pm in the afternoon. She started panting heavily and moving about and generally being restless. For the past couple of nights I’d had literally no sleep because I could tell she was getting uncomfortable. I’d wake up continually to check on her and follow her about the house. But yesterday I knew it was all happening.
It was not an easy night. Looking back, my last litter had been a doddle compared to this one. Peggy had just got on with it, but Honey really didn’t like what was going on. From about 10pm she was being sick pretty regularly and unable to sit still. Up and downstairs she went, until I closed the stair gate and then she was confined to downstairs. In and outdoors, every 20 minutes or so which was fine in the light but as it got dark I started to panic she’d have her puppies outside, so I’d follow her with a torch. At about 3am when she’d been going outside and straining I stopped allowing her out, which was hard because she kept sitting by the backdoor and looking at me and crying to go out.
She started digging to make a nest on the sofas and was promptly sick on one, then jumped down and sat on a chair in the sitting room and started nesting again, then was sick on the floor, it was just constant.
At about 3.30am she went into her whelping box and that’s where she stayed until the first one was born at 4.30am. Just before the first one was born she started making terrible noises – Peggy (my other cocker) was desperately anxious and I had to keep her locked in my bedroom because she was crying and trying to get to Honey.
When the first puppy was born Honey wouldn’t tear the sac open she just looked at it, so I had to rip open the sac and then Honey started to lick the puppy, but she wouldn’t chew through the umbilical cord, which they normally do, so I had to cut the cord and pick up the puppy and start to rub her to bring her round. Once that had been done, Honey started to take an interest and kept licking the puppy until she was ready to give birth to her second.
This happened with every puppy.
Sadly two of the puppies were stillborn. I didn’t try to to bring them round because the placenta had not developed properly in either of them and they hadn’t formed properly. It was very, very sad and stressful, just writing this now has made me cry. They would have been beautiful dogs.
Fortunately the rest of the puppies were fine. By 7.45am all had been born and Mum and puppies were settled in their whelping box clean and happy. Puppies suckling and all seemed well. 2 blue roans (a girls and a boy) and one girl orange roan.
My girls named then after Harry Potter characters because my grandson is mad on Harry Potter and they wanted to surprise him. So we had Willow (from the Weeping Willow), Dudley (the only boy and a little podgy!) and the very pale orange roan was called Luna.