... but things seem to be getting better now. WHEW!
my boy, Parker's, first litter that he has sired and I am very excited about it ... Charlie is a beautiful Welsh Terrier with a terrific personality. She is 4 years old, finished her Am. Championship quickly (which is very difficult to do in general, let alone where she lives in the US - in Oklahoma), she is Paisa's sister (Am/Can Ch. Sanherpinc Paisa), and she has one of the most sweet personalities that you'll find in a dog (everyone that meets her almost immediately falls in love with her - and she is a favorite at her local kids reading group and hospital visits as one of the favorite local therapy dogs which is part of H.A.L.O. in Oklahoma). It turns out that Jerry and Ann almost chose Paisa as a puppy, but in the end of the day, chose Charlie. When they learned that Paisa now lives with Michael and I, and that our focus is on good looking Welsh Terriers that have good personalities and are healthy, we started discussing the potential of breeding to one of our dogs.
Grover, a nephew of Charlie, I guess since Charlie's sister - Paisa, is his mother) ... I wrote a blog post on Apr 9, 2010 about that day with lot's of great photos!
So - a few cool stories and pictures to come from that wonderful visit a couple of months ago that produced these 5 puppies!
So - that's the good stuff. Now the stressful stuff. This was Charlie's first litter, and while Jerry and Ann have been around dogs all of their lives, grew up in a family that bred dogs, have terrific vets and EXCELLENT relationships with their vet (and close by), this is actually their first litter they have personally experienced. I was a bit nervous about this, but armed with a great background, many instructions (and books and videos), excellent and experienced vet resources close by, good common sense, a very strong relationship with Charlie (and the dog community - especially since Jerry is the president of the 70+ person therapy dog group) - they were up to the challenge. If they weren't 2200 miles away from me, I would have been over there in a heartbeat at the first signs of impending delivery!
Then 2 weeks ago a tornado came through their city - and their home. With part of the roof gone, windows smashed and front yard demolished ... their focus still was Charlie and getting ready. We connected every so often and when it was time and Charlie started labour, clearly something was wrong. The first puppy was really big (he's lucky - he survived!). If this had been the 4th or 5th puppy, everything likely would have been fine, but he was the 1st! Off to the emergency vet they went. Hours later and things seemed to be OK. Charlie and her new family came home. The pictures here of her with puppies were taken when they are still only a few hours old. Clearly she took to being a mother just fine ... and things were going well.
Then a couple of days later one of the girls started to not do very well. Not gaining, limp, not feeding and starting to get cool. Not good. Off to the local vet again to get help (this is where I really wish I was closer as I could help with the fluids and feeding) - but they have great people close by (clearly!).
When Jerry got home late that night (why does it always seem to happen at night?) the Air Conditioner exploded !! ?? !! Did I mention that this is Oklahama City in June? It get's hot there - you need A/C!
NOW I am sure that things are getting just a bit stressful! First the tornado, then the c-section, then the potentially fading puppy (which is doing fine - from tonights report), then the A/C explodes and the heat index is above 104F!
And, it doesn't stop there!
They pack up themselves, Charlie, her puppies and head to a hotel - hoping to get even a few hours of sleep. I don't know how much sleep they actually got, because in the early hours of last night, the rains came - and came - and came! Over 10 inches in just a few hours.
CNN has some really eye-opening coverage on just what they experienced there - click here to check it out!
Well, I talked with Jerry tonight and they are back in their home. The A/C guy came today and it seems like thier home is livable - while their rain gauge shows over 10 inches of rain - it hasn't leaked. All of the puppies are plump and warm and feeding. Charlie is doing her best to be a mom and Jerry and Ann are pulling out all stops to put Charlie and her pups first and just trying to keep their house and lives as sane as they possibly can - in the chaos that is going on around them. I didn't even ask how they are coping with being able to get Charlie out and pottied in all of this chaos and mud and heat and rain (these things that one doesn't think about unless you are living it). I contemplated getting on a flight to go down and help, but didn't since I know that they have expert resources that are working with them.
So - come back soon so that you can see the pictures and stories of the adventures that we had a couple of months ago exploring Vancouver and Jerry meeting Grover and her 3 year old owner - Tyler! And, for now, keep Charlie and her pups in your thoughts - and let's hope that the weather stabilizes in their part of the coutnry ... no more surprises please!
Remember - I love you guys - I love Charlie and please stay warm (but not too warm!) safe and dry. I'm just a phone call away. The fun part of having puppies will come soon -- I promise! I can't wait to see you all in August! Big hugs! :-)