By the time the afternoon came around and there was no change, I decided to go to visit the veterinary. I didn't actually take Dixie with me. In her present state, I didn't dare disturb her. Instead I took Toby with me....for a 'health check'. But obviously I just wanted an excuse to talk to another vet about Dixie.
So after having Toby checked for a few things, I told the vet that I would have like to have brought Dixie but she was laboring at home. I gave her all my information...the breeding dates, the due date, the temperatures, etc. And asked her at what point she would advise bringing Dixie in. The veterinary did not seem concerned. But assured me that it all seemed fairly normal. She suggested that if there was no whelping by Monday, that I could bring Dixie to her. Her calmness was such a comfort....but I still made sure that the office was open on Saturday morning...just in case.
That evening (Friday night) Dixie was really panting heavily. By 11:00 pm she was no longer hiding in her crate, but was begging me to comfort and be near her. I put her in her whelping box (a plastic swimming pool) and stroked her fur and assured her. I thought to myself, 'Surely these puppies are coming tonight!' But when the minutes ticked by I was losing my confidence and my energy. I took a pillow and lay down next to her whelping box, to try to get some rest. I would come in and out of consciousness as Dixie was still so restless. Every few hours she would ask to go outside, and I would have to keep an eye out for her in the darkness of the night..
|Dixie spent a long night waiting for puppies|
Around 4 am. I woke to some very heavy panting accompanied by some whining. I woke myself up completely to start the vigil once more.
At 5:30 am I found her temperature had dropped to 97.2 degrees F. I felt a sense of hope. We didn't have puppies....but at least Dixie's temperature was as low as it would go. It must mean something good! Sure enough, at 6 am, Dixie started strong pushing and her water broke. What a huge relief! Our first puppy was almost here!
And of course, the rest is history. All the puppies were born at regular intervals and without any particular difficulty. I guess after being held in suspense for so long, we were being rewarded with a perfectly smooth delivery!
Now is the time when I find myself repeating, "Thanks be to God!" because I truly worry about my little girl through all of this. And I am so grateful that she and the puppies are all well!