What a crazy night that was! We knew Portia was going to have her puppies at anytime. She was pacing, panting, and nesting her blankets in the whelping box. At 2:30AM, she had her first puppy...a huge female. When Holly handed me this fat, wet, and wiggly pup I went to work. A lot of work goes into a newborn pup...clearing mucus from the throat, cutting and tying the cord, drying the coats, weighing, and marking with a colored collar. This first puppy received a pink leather cord for a collar. She grew up to be Star. After Star was born, I couldn't tell you who was next. We had 5 girls whelped before the first boy decided to come into the world. This handsome fella was also very large...he got the dark blue collar. Jedi has grown to be one of the finest looking dobermans I have ever seen. But...I feel that way about all 13 of the pups that were born one year ago this morning. I remember the small fellas...little black collared Angus, and turquoise blue collared Dom. These two fellas were a lot smaller than the others, but they had so much drive and determination. When it came time to nurse, these little fellas would move the big ones aside to get a meal. They all had to be supplemented with tube and bottle feedings. Poor Portia just couldn't keep up with 13 pups.
For the first three weeks of their lives, these pups had 24 hour supervision. This included around the clock feedings. It was by far the busiest time I can remember. I personally hope Portia doesn't have a litter like that again. I can also say, I wouldn't have traded the time we had with those puppies for anything in the world.
Happy Birthday to you 13 amazing dogs!