Birth Day for Athena’s puppies

All day Saturday, Athena was restless. She didn’t eat; she asked to go outside, then immediately came back in. In the late afternoon, I could see her contractions and her belly got tight. We waited together.

By early evening, Athena welcomed her first puppy – a lovely female, with a dot on her forehead like her mama.

More contractions, heavy breathing and….

this beautiful black and while male came into the world.

He was quickly followed by

an all white female. She’s little. I already think of her as ‘Mouse’.

Then we waited. Athena was tired, her body continued to work, and she napped. The puppies moved around, but didn’t try to nurse. Nursing stimulates contractions. I tried to get them interested, but no luck.

The next puppy was still born. That happens. Nature was telling us something. I kissed his forehead and let him go.

Hours passed, or maybe it only seemed like hours. I knew we couldn’t be finished:

Athena’s belly hadn’t really changed shape. And the contractions continued.

Over the next couple of hours, 3 more males made their appearance.

Athena was exhausted. I decided to sleep too.

This morning the contractions continued, irregularly. So I knew we weren’t quite finished. 2 more pups were still born.

The miracle of birth never gets old. It is such an honor that these mamas trust me enough to let me help them. I change soaked bedding, and sometimes need to help get a puppy breathing. I’m really there, just to support these amazing dogs.

Athena has probably given birth before. But this will be her last litter. Not because she isn’t an awesome mom! She is. But because she deserves to not go through that again. This labor was difficult. Raising these puppies will not be easy. We will help every step of the way and then she will find her forever family.

All the pups are latching on and nursing well. Athena’s milk has already come in. We’re on our way.

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