We are five days from the official due date of August 7th for Umma’s puppies! It may be that day or a couple days earlier or later according to the vet. (I mean, can you blame Umma for wanting to push them out as soon as possible?!)
So, how many will there be? Here’s the official X-ray, taken on August 1st:
Introducing Umma’s Ummlettes! You should be able to find five skulls and spines in the pic. In the ultrasound a month ago the vet saw six, so the vet believes one was absorbed (which could happen for a variety of reasons).
Umma has gotten quite round and weighed in at 37 pounds at the vet – she’s normally about 30-31! The puppies are quite active, especially at 3am when Umma wakes Ayako up and demands belly massages and skritches. Here’s a pic of her from before breeding for reference, where you can see a clearly defined waist and ribcage. She’s right about 31 pounds and if I put my hands around her waist, my pinkies meeting on her stomach and try to touch my thumbs on her back, they can almost reach.
Now? Now there is about a 7-8″ gap between my thumbs and our poor little girl is just round all over.
Umma has been doing well. She squealed when I added her third meal of the day, which is really the cutest thing ever. Feeding was an adjustment since she no longer was allowed raw foods (her favorite), but thankfully she’s been willing to eat anything we put in her dish – even kibble. We’ve cooked ground meats, boiled and pureed vegetables, added in cooked egg, meat broths, supplements, baby foods – and she’s eaten everything. Her fur is glorious (I think it always is, but it’s even softer) and for the most part she seems okay with pregnancy. I can see it on her face sometimes that she’s tired, whether just from exhaustion or sick of being pregnant I don’t know (both?).
She’s still game for short neighborhood walks even if they are a little slower. Umma has done a little nesting in the yard – digging around the base of a lilac and trying to get under the deck (which is closed off to her with lattice) – but for the most part has been relatively calm. She does normally “dig” at the bed and throw our pillows around, so very soon we’re going to make sure to keep her out of the bedroom when it’s not bedtime. The humans definitely do not want any puppies being born there!
We’ve been hard at work getting all our puppy zones set up. We have a whelping box (from Umma’s breeder) all set up with puppy pads and blankets inside an exercise pen. Umma will stay in there with the puppies for the first week or so, only coming out to go to the bathroom and maybe eat. The rest of the time she’ll be feeding and cleaning up after the puppies. After that we’ll let her spend time outside the pen, but make sure she’s still feeding them as needed.
But for now…now we wait. It really is like waiting for Christmas as a small child. For a while it was like the last week of school, but now school’s out, the presents are wrapped, the cookies are made, and we wait. So. Much. Anticipation!