I was forced to attend an opening day Dove Shoot this Saturday and, BJ, my long-suffering wife, stayed with Ruby. By the time I got home, Ruby was in labor, her temperature had dropped 2 degrees and all was ready for the long-awaited arrival of the puppies. The vet x-ray showed 11 puppies. I was hoping for somewhat fewer, but we get what we get.
Night fell and still she was panting and clearly uncomfortable. I stayed in the barn with her, sleeping as best I could. Around 0330, I woke to a different sound- a puppy squalling for some milk! In the whelping box was a clean and hungry, little, orange female puppy. One after another, they came out. No problems, about every 20 minutes. Then, they stopped for an hour, and then kept on coming. The last one arrived at noon. Ruby was exhausted. Once she got them cleaned up and fed, we fed her. She ate double the normal rations (high calorie, nutrient rich Royal Canin puppy food) and drank a bunch. Then she ran back to the pups and started doing mom stuff. What a great mother to the pups.
Ultimately, we had 11 pups, 6 female, 5 male, 4 orange and 7 liver- a good cross section. I will keep one of the females to add to my excellent line of hunting and trialing Brittanies. The rest are either promised or for sale.
I can't wait to see the herd following momma around in the pasture, or chasing birds and pointing butterflies!