We are so pleased to announce that we have had another litter here at Royal T Mi-kis! The proud parents are Rayne and Moses. You can read more about them on the “Our Dogs” page.
For those of you that prefer to cut to the chase, the good news is that we have two beautiful puppies! The first is a girl we’re calling Felicity after good fortune and happiness. She appears to have her mother’s black and tan saddle pattern with white toes and a white stripe down her chest. She is tiny but vocal! She already looks like she has her mother’s sweet face.
We also have a handsome dark sable boy named Finnegan, which means “little fair one.” Surprisingly, Finn looks just like what his father Moses did when he was a puppy. You’d never guess now that our strawberry blonde stud was ever so dark! The color changes are just one of the fun features of the Mi-ki dog breed. And sweet Finn will likely become his namesake and be a light creamy apricot with dark fringe as he matures.
Now for those of you who appreciate details, here’s why we say that breeding dogs is not easy.
Puppies come when they want to come
This was Rayne’s second delivery and it was nothing like her first. The first was a textbook whelping with the puppies coming at even intervals with few complications other than helping reposition mom’s pelvis to make room for the new life.
According to our dog birthing calculator, Rayne would likely be due today (8-7-2018), and not three days ago, but I also knew that her first suitor was trying to woo her for several days and couldn’t seem to get the job done. Moses came to Rayne’s rescue late in her cycle, and so it wasn’t shocking that she delivered a bit earlier than what the calendar said (basing it on ovulation rather than the date of breeding.)
But it was a little disappointing that Rayne chose to deliver during my brother’s giant going-away party. Dog breeders pretty much have to put their lives on hold around delivery time, and that’s just how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Sorry to miss the event, Jeremy and Barbie! We’ll visit you in Alaska!
Puppies don’t always come easily
Rayne started leaking fluid, and developed the classic bubble of the sac, but no puppy was coming out… for over an hour, then two. We used the wheelbarrow technique to help reposition the puppy in case it was transverse over the canal. After elevating Rayne’s hips higher than her head for several minutes, the sac went away. I was getting pretty nervous and was gloving up to get ready to perform the stuck puppy protocol with lube and a feeding tube. But Rayne finally started pushing and out came a beautiful little female – Felicity!
The next puppy took a very, very long time. I found myself scrolling through the files and entries of the various puppy birthing Facebook community pages I belong to and my Myra Savant Harris dog breeding books. Savant Harris believes we need to trust nature more than we have been, that we’ve lost far too many of our precious dogs to complications with all-too-common C-sections. She says the main key is to watch your female and not the clock. A resting and nurturing mother who is tending her pup(s) is not one that needs to be cut open. Pauses in delivery, even very long ones, are normal.
Uterine inertia or a natural pause in labor and delivery? How to decide? All I know is that Rayne is my treasure, and as long as she wasn’t freaking out, I would try and follow her lead while lifting up prayers. I stayed in my street clothes all night with the emergency clinic on speed dial.
Sometimes there are angels
Early the next morning, Rayne calmly delivered a beautiful stillborn female after resting peacefully through the night. The tiny angel came down folded wrong and judging by her size and the placenta, she may not have survived, regardless of early intervention. It is a difficult thing to face and was our first loss as a kennel. Apparently, 30% of puppies die before, during, or shortly after birth, and we’ve been way ahead of that statistic and are extremely blessed.
Twenty minutes later, a very dark sable boy was delivered, and he is healthy and just so sweet! Finnegan is larger than his sister Felicity, but he’s less demanding. We’ve had to supplement his feedings to keep his weight up, which isn’t uncommon in the first few days with the very tiny breeds. It’s my privilege to stay near these babies and lose sleep for feedings, though now I remember why it’s the young people who have babies!
Though it was heartbreaking to lose a puppy, our beautiful Rayne is whole, healthy and happy with two puppies to tend. It was the right decision. She taught me a lot about patience and trust.
No, breeding and raising puppies is not for the faint of heart. We do it for the love of the breed and to bless others with such wonderful companions.
Hopefully, our next litters will be less complicated. Stay tuned!