Archive for December, 2021


Thursday, December 30th, 2021

We’re getting close now. Temperature is still normal (they usually have a fairly drastic drop in temperature 12-24 hours before whelping, if you manage to catch it), puppies haven’t moved down yet, but she’s lumpy and uncomfortable and I’m thinking it will be in the next couple of days….so excited!!

Lucky Number 7!

Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

X-ray today (approximately day 58) showed 7! She’s a bit too lean growing these things so more food for her (you don’t want fat but you don’t want to be too lean and have trouble lactating either). No visible tooth buds or calcified toes yet so likely a couple of days or so to go. They’re starting to line up!

She still has a waist so they haven’t started moving down yet. She and I moved into the puppy room this past weekend. She insists she can jump and run and chase squirrels still even though she’s huge!

The goals in order are: healthy Alice, easy whelping, healthy puppies.

The Embiggening!

Friday, December 17th, 2021

Just over two weeks to go and the puppies are in their most rapid growth phase. Alice is notceably bigger than last week. Eating very well, going for walks, content. She is a happy pregnant dog. She has a little bit of egg white-like mucus which is normal at this stage. She’s big enough that she has to fidget a bit to get comfortable, but overall she’s doing great.

This weekend we will get out the whelping box and get set up, do an inventory and see what we need to replace.

Getting close now!


Friday, December 10th, 2021

I felt a bit of fluttering in Alice’s left flank yesterday, and The Pudgening has begun! She’s definitely rounder. Just over three weeks to go!

She’s eating well as always. More mellow and cuddly but still up for anything. Going for walks Chased a rabbit. You know. Alice stuffs.

Schrödinger’s Puppies

Friday, December 3rd, 2021

So there’s a kind of limbo you’re in between breeding and confirming pregnancy. You obviously treat the bitch as if she’s pregnant regardless, but (even though I’m not a particularly superstitious person) you don’t dare hope too much or bank on it having worked, to insulate youself from disappointment. Having had two breedings not work out, I know how sad and upsetting it is.

Alice waiting for the ultrasound and/or snacks

So even though over the last week or so I’d been seeing signs that made me think Alice was pregnant (she was drinking more, her nipples were firmer, larger and pinker than usual, her vulva stayed larger and softer than usual after she finished her heat, she was starving hungry and very cuddly and needy, she had a doe-eyed, introspective sort of look about her), I reminded myself that all female dogs have the same hormonal response after a heat. whether they’re pregnant or not, all female dogs have some degree of false pregnancy.

But today was the ultrasound day! Dr Gray came in and said “I’m so nervous, are you nervous?”, we actually talked shop for a bit because she wanted my thoughts about how to handle abusive clients (a sadly all too common occurrence these days), then we went into the ultrasound room. She said “oh my God!” as she saw the first vesicle with a puppy inside. Then she found an empty one (about 40% of fetuses are resorbed early in gestation, it’s very normal), then she found another fetus….then she found another….then she found another…and another….and another. She said “you have a litter!”, then said said “you usually expect a small litter with frozen, not this time!”. We think there are six or even seven in there! I texted Michelle (Zar’s owner) first, then Jim, then work, then Facebook. I AM SO EXCITED!

Those dark blobs are vesicles and the lighter blobs inside are fetuses!

Now we just institute the pregnancy bubblewrap lockdown and worry quietly every time she blinks funny for the next four weeks. She is officially due on or about January 2.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A PUPPY from this litter, please contact me. If this litter turns out the way the parents indicate it should, these should be working dogs. This is NOT likely to be the litter for you if you want a couch potato. These puppies will probably need a job to be happy (or they will make up their own, and you will likely NOT like what it is). All Vallhunds should have an off switch, but there is a range of working drive and desire, and while I expect these puppies to be stable, sane and able to switch off, this litter has been bred to be dogs who want to work, and they will need an outlet for that drive. If you don’t want that, you don’t want an E litter puppy! Needless to say, I am prioritizing performance homes for this litter. If you want a dog for herding, agility, obedience, nosework, tracking or whatever, this is the sort of litter you want.