The Chris-Monroe Puppy - "Darwin"

Born February 12, 2008.

Monroe || Chris

The sire of the litter is Ch Redawg Christofel O'Copprrdg, SC (Chris), the #2 Ridgeback in the United States in 2007 and winner of Best of Breed at the American Kennel Club National Championship Show, sponsored by Eukanuba, in December 2007. The dam is Ch Camelot's Some Like it Hot (Monroe).

The breeding was carried out in December 2007 while Chris was on the East Coast for the last shows of the season. The method used was artificial insemenation with fresh-chilled semen, collected in New York and shipped to California by overnight Federal Express.

Pregnancy was obvious by the normal morphological changes, but by the 7th week, although she had a well-developed mammary train, Monroe just wasn't very big. Ultrasound and x-ray showed just one puppy!

As sometimes happens when there is just one puppy, Monroe did not go into labor and therefore, on the 64th day after the insemenation, the puppy was delivered by C-section. Because he was born on the 199th birthday of Charles Darwin (and because Clayton has been very immersed in reading evolutionary biology the last couple of years, we call Monroe's singleton puppy "Darwin".

For the first few days, Monroe didn't have a clue what to do about this little creature we kept giving her to nurse. In fact, she took absolutely no interest in him. She would go to the whelping box, lay down and permit him to nurse, but only if ordered to do so. And she would not stay with him unless Cheri or I sat by the side of the box (or in it). If we walked away from the whelping box, even if the puppy had just started nursing, she would leap out and follow, leaving him mad as a hornet. Under no conditions would she perform cleanup duty, so all of the pooping and peeing duty was done by Cheri or me using a wet cotton ball.

It also took a long time for milk to come in and Darwin's weight declined from 25 ounces at birth to 20 ounces at the end of two days. I whipped up some Goat's milk-yogurt formula and began to feed him a few times a day and he began to gain weight and was back up to 23 ounces by the end of day 3.

At night we brought Monroe into bed with us. She was under the covers between us with Darwin on her belly. The top of the bed was blocked by pillows so he couldn't wander away and fall off. We took turns having the feet (Monroe has LONG legs)!

Finally, on Saturday am when I put her in the box for his 7 am nursing, I left to shower and Monroe stayed there in the whelping box. So I dressed and went off to the gym for workout and came back two hours later and she was still with him. I ran her out to tidy up the whelping box and she paced around whining to be let back in.

So the light has finally dawned. Hopefully she won't get bored!

Darwin has already been placed--Camelot plans another litter in the Fall of 2008.


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