As you might already know if you follow me on Facebook, both litters of French Bulldog puppies have arrived at Bullmarket.
Delilah couldn’t wait until Tuesday’s predicted whelping date, and went into labor on Sunday evening. We tried to wait her out until Monday morning, but by 4:00 am it was pretty clear that things were progressing at an alarming rate, so off to the vet we went.
She and Zeus gave us five lovely brindle babies – three boys, and two girls, all of them brindles. Delilah is adapting to motherhood remarkably well this second time around. No more hiding under the bed – you can barely get her to leave the kids long enough to go outside for a pee. She sleeps with them constantly, and is fairly relaxed and laid back about their care, which has made for a litter of very self reliant little puppies. I might have seen one or two of them doing their own laundry last night.
Penelope is another story. Her predicted whelping date was on Thursday, but she went into labor Monday afternoon. I have to wonder if I might be responsible, at least partially – she was fine until I came downstairs and let her smell my hands, which were saturated with ‘new puppy’ scent. One hour later, she started huffing and panting, and we were off to the races. I imagine her thinking, “Puppies? There are puppies upstairs? Where are MY puppies? Time to get the ball rolling”. She waited until midnite to be ready for her trip to the vet, and less than an hour after we arrived, she, like Delilah, presented us with three boys and two girls – two fawn pied girls, a fawn pied boy, a brindle boy, and black masked fawn boy. Those colors were a pleasant surprise!
Nell is a rather more frantic mother than Delilah. She likes her puppies to be arranged into tidy little piles, color co-ordinated and sorted according to size and sex. She’s been moving her whelping box around like it’s on wheels, and when any of the pups squeak, she springs into frantic action, washing them, pushing them around the pen, and shoving them under her tummy, where the lazily latch on to whichever overflowing nipple first brushes against their mouths. Delilah’s milk is less plentiful, so her kids have been squabbling among themselves, and knocking their smaller siblings flying if they get in the way. “It’s every puppy for themselves!”, is the motto in Delilah’s whelping box, while in Penelope’s it’s, “Don’t bother to pick that up, the maid will get it for us”.
So far, both moms and all ten (!!) puppies are doing well, although we did have a few panicky moments when Delilah’s milk didn’t look like it was going to come in. Apparently, it was just her way of keeping us on our toes.
Photos below, and more first day photos are on Flickr. I’ll take some video this weekend, when I get a chance.