Friday, March 19, 2010 6:02 AM

Kaya is in labor now and I expect the first puppy soon. She was restless overnight and her water broke about 5:30. Nice of her to let us get a full night's sleep. We are in the whelping room now. This will be a busy day, as the house cleaners are due at 8 am, as well as the crew installing solar panels on the roof. To say nothing of the yard crew who come on Fridays to care for the lawn!

6:22 AM

The first puppy, a ridged female, came feet first. She was fully encased in the sac and was very vigorous when it was broken. Kaya is a little confused about the whole affair as she continues to have little contractions.

7:01 AM

The second puppy, an 18 1/2-ounce ridged female, was born at 6:58. She is very dark and like the first puppy, has white toes on all four feet.

7:34 AM

The third puppy, an 18-ounce ridged male, was born at 7:30. For some reason, Kaya likes to have the puppies standing up, so my job is (literally) catcher. All three puppies have been born bottom first and the deliveries have been pretty smooth. The sacs are tougher than I have seen before.

7:51 AM

The fourth puppy, a 14-ounce ridged female, was born at 7:47. Like the others, she came bottom first, fully encased in her sturdy sac. For a change, Kaya had this one while laying on her side. All of the puppies so far have good ridges, as far as I have been able to see, and all have white toes on all four feet. She may be livernose, although that would be a big surprise to me.

8:23 AM

The firth puppy, a 16 1/2-ounce ridged male, was born at 8:15. Kaya is getting the hang of delivering while laying on her side and this one was the first to be delivered head first. As usual, breaking the sac was a challenge and while I was working away at that, Kaya managed to devour the placenta and afterbirth (for the third time). She is probably going to have an upset tummy. But the hormones she has been getting have kicked the mother instinct into full gear and she won't knowingly let one of the puppies out of her sight.

9:40 AM

Puppy number 6, a 15-ounce ridged male, was born at 9:30. He came head first, in his almost impenetrable sac, and is a nice boy with a clean, symmetrical ridge. So far, the puppies seem to have very nice heads, with plenty of width in the muzzle. Kaya is getting the hang of this now and is a lot less restless. However, the other house dogs are barking in the kennel because of all the workmen who are out there and that does bother her--I am not sure if it makes her nervous, or if she just wants to be out there to participate in the barking.

10:25 AM

The 7th puppy, a 15 1/2-ounced ridged male, was born head first at 10:15 am. We are starting to have a lot of boys! Which figures, since we have a lot of homes who want girls.

10:41 AM

Puppy number 8 is a 14-ounce, ridged female, which ties the gender race 4-4. I would not be surprised if there is another one or two, but eight ridged puppies is great, in view of my last litter (which had a grand total of 1 1/2 ridges in eight!).

10:56 AM

Things have settled down and all eight puppies are sleeping against mom's tummy. Here are a couple of photos of the girl who looks very much like a livernose.

I suppose it is possible that Kaya is a carrier through her dam. Artie was bred three times, but the last two were to Mojave and Ruger, who were bred a lot and did not produce livers, so I am pretty sure they are not carriers. Artie's first litter was to Uno, whose dam was livernosed, and therefore he has to be a carrier. There were 8 puppies, all black nosed. The chances against that happening if Artie is a carrier are 16:1. But not zero! I might add that the Artie-Uno litter beat the odds in another way--all eight puppies were female! The odds against that are 256:1.

11:19 AM

The 9th puppy is a 15 1/2-ounce, ridged female. Since things had settled down, I walked up to the kitchen to get a diet coke and when I came back, Kaya was already cleaning up.

12:34 PM

We have ten puppies now--a 12-ounce, ridged female was born at 12:15. Darla is here now visiting Kaya and her growing family. Once again, we may be finished.... or not?

2:44 PM

I am pretty sure we really are done now. It has been two and one-half hours since puppy #10 and Kaya is all sacked out with her new family. Pretty soon I have to disturb the peace to clean the box and put in the safety bars.

5:25 PM

I cleaned the bedding, installed the safety rails and gave Kaya a nice soft cushion. I also put the heating pad under the box liner (I use indoor-outdoor carpet pieces, cut to approxiately fit the 4x4 box) in one corner. Some of the puppies find the warm spot and like to nap there. Others prefer to crowd around mom. I have the whelping room pretty warm--probably 85 degrees.

SUMMARY: There are four males and six females. One of the females is a liver nose; the other nine are all black nosed. All ten puppies have full ridges, but one female looks to have a single crown. I need to examine the puppies in more detail, and will do that tomorrow. There are no kinked tails and no excessive white markings. I have not yet had time to examine them all for dermoid sinus. They all seem to be very vigorous. The average weight is about a pound each and the smallest is 12 ounces (I have had litters where the largest was 12 ounces!).

I like the heads; both Kaya and Lennox have very nice heads and what I am seeing is consistent with what I expected--good breadth of muzzle and nice square fronts, suggesting I will have strong underjaws when the muzzle extends in a few weeks time.