Friday, September 4, 2009

Welcoming Our New Puppies!

The next generation of SSD service dogs has been born! We welcome the Crayon litter: Shamrock, Slate, Denim, Rusty, Sienna, Lavender, Onyx, Copper and Jade.
SSD Winter, who was originally a puppy from Guiding Eyes for the Blind, had a caesarean section to give birth to these nine puppies. Because she was under anesthesia, human helpers did the tasks Winter normally would have done - freeing the puppies from the amniotic sac, squeezing fluid from the puppies' lungs, drying their fur and cutting the umbilical cords. The puppies' yelps as they took their first breaths were such beautiful sounds!

We did have one moment when we worried a puppy might not make it. One of the puppies had gotten stuck in the birth canal before we arrived at the vet. The puppy was very weak when it was finally born, but with the help of some CPR and an oxygen mask, it was soon wriggling to join its brothers and sisters! What a relief! The puppies waited in a warming box for Winter to wake up.

Once the anesthesia wore off, we bundled Winter and her pups in the van for the ride home. The puppies nursed in the van. On the ride home, Winter's mothering instincts kicked in and she tried to see to all her puppies' needs that she hadn't been able to do while she was under anesthesia. She even tried to chew off the puppies' umbilical cords - again!

Back home, mother and puppies settled into the whelping box.
Each puppy is named after a crayon color:

Shamrock - yellow male
Slate - black male
Denim - black male
Rusty - black male
Sienna - yellow female
Lavender - yellow female
Onyx - black female
Copper - yellow male
Jade - black female

Once the puppies are about four weeks old, you'll be able to visit them for puppy hugging. We'll give you more details about puppy hugging in a future post.

Congratulations, Winter, on a beautiful litter! Thank you to everyone who helped with the whelping, and a special thank you to Dr. Hahn at the Palmyra Animal Hospital! We couldn't have done it without you!

1 comment:

  1. I had a great time at the 2011 SSD summer camp. I had Denim and he was so funny! Thanks for matching me up with him!

    -Stevie Rosebush