Brady's birth story, to be precise!
For any newbies out there, Brady is our 4 year old chocolate lab. Tyler and I got her as a puppy when we were newlyweds. Before we were "we", Tyler and I bonded over our shared love of dogs, and specifically, chocolate labs. Our first Christmas together, we gave each other chocolate lab nick-nacks, coincidentally. After we were married, we had no real plans to get a dog right away, but I just happened to see an ad for chocolate lab puppies in the paper one day. I told Ty, and we went "just to see" the puppies. Ha! "Just to see." Riiiight. ;)
Of course, we fell in love with the teeny tiny little girl, one of two chocolate females in the litter. She was so sweet, and gentle.. she didn't try to bite our fingers like the other female did, she just looked at us with her big ol' puppy eyes, and we were done.
She was the cuddliest, sweetest, most lovable puppy in the world. She grew up to be the sweetest, gentlest, most laid back dog ever (except when it comes to food, she's crazy about her food!)
From the very first, Tyler talked about having a litter of pups from her one day. I wasn't that keen, but I wasn't so against it that I put my foot down. I figured, if Ty really wanted it, so be it.
Fast forward four years, and we adopted a big, beautiful Bouvier male. Who just happened to be intact.
Brady got pregnant, and we marked the date on the calendar, and life went on.
We built her a whelping bed as her due date crept close, and watched for signs of labour.
On Saturday, September 29th, her water broke. I had made plans to go to visit my brother and sister-in-law that day, and I reluctantly cancelled. I couldn't leave Brady alone after her water broke, in case she needed help.
All day long I watched her, but nothing happened. No puppies.
All day Sunday, we watched her. Nothing happened.
Monday morning, Ty was sure she was in labour. She was panting and nesting, she couldn't settled, she was definitely uncomfortable... he woke me up at 5:30 a.m, before he left for work. He was sure she would have puppies by 9:00.
I got up, I watched her... nothing. Nada.
All day long, I kept checking on her. I let her outside to walk around a few times, and she didn't seem to be in any distress. She moseyed around, laid in the sun on the deck for a while... she was fine, I thought.
Around 3:00 I let her back in the house, and she wanted to go to her whelping box.
At 4:00 I checked on her, and she was laying down. She seemed a bit uncomfortable, but fine, I thought.
Reid wanted to nurse, so I took him into the other room to try to get him to nap. Ty got home at 4:10, and he went to the kitchen to put his lunch pail down. I heard "Oh, Sarah, she's started! There's a puppy! It's face is covered!"
I thought "Oh crap!" and rushed to the kitchen. Sure enough, the pup was still covered in it's little pouch. I ripped it open and grabbed the puppy up. He wasn't breathing, so I rubbed his back and cleaned out his mouth with my finger, and blew air across his face. I held him upside down and scratched his back and belly, saying "C'mon, puppy! Breathe, puppy! Let's go!"
Finally, he took a breath. Relief! I held him up to Brady's nose, and said "Here, Brady! Here's your baby!" She looked at him with big eyes, sniffing him all over. Then she started licking him, which of course is the best thing to keep a pup stimulated. I worked on him a bit more, too, to keep him breathing. A few minutes later, he started whining. When he let out little cries, I knew he was resuscitated enough that he was going to be fine.
I put him against Brady's stomach, and he started nursing. She looked at me quizzically, but didn't push the baby away. She was still sitting up on her stomach, and I couldn't get her to lie down. That was my first clue that something was wrong.
Continued in Part Two