Ruby's First Litter!
Above: Girl #4 with a milk mustache!
Above: Just minutes after delivering pup #7!
After attending a wedding on Saturday evening, we came home to find our not so little momma-to-be very excited and happy to see us! Friends had been minding our two and four legged children while we were out, so thankfully Ruby Mae didn't go into labor before we came home! She was four days early. We had just got into bed around 11ish when we heard Ruby let out a little yelp. We quickly jumped out of bed to find that her waters broken and Ruby panting away in her whelping box. In less then five minutes she delivered her first and fattest pup. A beautiful little boy, with a honey red coat and wonderful white markings on his head, chest and paws. Thankfully, we were prepared with clean towels, the normal essentials and two sets of hands (and the emergency vet number ready to go, just in case!) It wasn't long before a steady stream of puppies made their way into the world. Ruby Mae wonderfully pushed her 7 little babies out, without needing any assistance from us, all within three and a half hours. Ben did a great job in his role as midwife, sitting along side Ruby in her whelping box the entire time and giving lots of words of encouragement and a helping hand. We spent the rest of the early morning hours watching over her, as she took to motherhood like a natural, inspecting each pup, cleaning and feeding them. Needless to say, neither Ben nor I got much sleep and were both feeling very thankful for wonderful Nanny who came and collected little Mr. 4 in the morning for Sunday school!
The following days would mean lots of work for us, but mostly for Ruby as her unrelenting babies fed constantly from her. Being a mum of two myself, I can't even imagine what it would be like having seven babies demanding milk all at once and around the clock! The lovely darling, for the first 48 hrs, refused to leave her young pups to even go toilet. Ben would have to lift her up and carry her outdoors to help encourage her to go. Ruby Mae is a little bit of momma's girl and all throughout her pregnancy insisted I personally hand feed her. We thought maybe it would stop once her pups came along, but oh no, she now insists that I first process her food and then hand feed it to her! I figure, she's done so much work over the last few months and will continue until her pups are weaned, that it really is the least I can do for her! Ruby Mae needs as much care and intake of food as she can get, in order to meet the needs of her large litter and keep herself in great shape.
On Tuesday, Ben and I brought them to visit the vet, to be sure Ruby Mae was doing well and the pups were in good shape. The vet weighed, inspected, took each pups temperature and statistics, as their watchful mum looked on. She was very happy when the ordeal was finished and she could get back to the comfort and safety of home. We were very pleased to have such good outcome from the vets report.
The first week would mean the children and myself being housebound, in order to keep a close eye on mum and pups, constantly getting up in the nights every few hours to check on them, loads of washing, changing of blankets and puppy pads! But, we feel the first week of Ruby Mae's entrance into motherhood has been a very successful one. All the pups have put on between 100-150g and are doing very well, which is wonderful. Even though their eyes are still closed, they always know where mum is in the whelping box and can scoot their way to her to find their meal. It's very cute watching them cuddle up together and form a puppy pile at nap time!
We are all looking forward to watching them grow and the kids are especially looking forward to the pups being large enough to handle. For now, they can only look on and wait ...
Above: Ben settling in for the night!