Right, first things first. For those of you just interested in litter news and puppy updates, here’s what we know at the moment:
Mae is NOT pregnant. She likely re-absorbed her pups at some point after her ultrasound. It happens.
Divine is NOT pregnant.
Journey might be pregnant.
Sailor is pregnant.
There you have it. You can now choose, if you’d like, to skip reading the remainder of this post – however, if you bother to read to the end, there’s a nice, gratuitous film clip of Penelope, Ellie, Tula and Mae wrestling.
Breeding dogs is a juggling act of sorts.
In an ideal world, litters would spread themselves nicely apart. You’d never have more than one at once, and you’d certainly never have overlapping litters. Unfortunately, the combination of French Bulldog erratic heat cycles, and the group tendency of bitches to cycle in unison, can make such precise timing impossible to achieve. Bitches, you see, have a tendency to come into season in groups, sort of like sorority sisters, or attendees at Michigan Womyn’s Festival. The alpha bitch cycles, and everyone else falls into place. It can make for a few days of really cranky girl dogs, trust me. It can also make for some rather difficult decisions when it comes to breeding.
Sailor has always been an intermittently cycling bitch. She apparently never got that memo about how she was supposed to come into season once every six months or so. She preferred to stick to the ‘Once every other year or so’ schedule, also fondly known as the ‘Driving my mom freakin’ nuts’ schedule. Because of this, our opportunities to breed her were limited, and I hesitated and waffled back and forth after Penelope’s litter about breeding her one last time. Finally, Barb’s advice and my own common sense about Sailor’s incredible soundness won out, and we decided to breed her via AI to Rebel. It also just so happened that Journey was in season at exactly the same time, so I decided that two litters couldn’t be much more difficult to handle than one, and getting puppies wean less than a week apart would probably almost be easier, if you really think about.
All of this would have been well and good, but over in Michigan, Barb had also bred Divine and Mae – Mae because, like Sailor, timing conspired to make this the perfect choice for Mae’s last litter, and Divine just because we wanted to.
That’s four litters, even if they’re split evenly into two countries – and four litters is a lot of puppies. Or it would be, if everyone was pregnant. But Frenchies tend to follow the feast or famine rule, and we’re currently in the middle of a famine at Absolut and Bullmarket, because of FOUR breedings, ONE bitch is pregnant, with another still a very slim ‘maybe’.
One. Out of four.
It’s odds like these that make gambling on doing multiple breedings seem like an acceptable risk.
So, there we are. Sailor is pregnant, although I have no plans whatsoever to place any of her puppies. This is her last litter, and pedigree wise, it’s an important one for us. Journey might well still be pregnant – I won’t really be sure until we do a pregnancy xray a week or so before she’s due. Fingers crossed, of course.
Right, as promised, here’s a gratuitous and totally pointless video of some French Bulldogs wrestling.