It's official. Belle is pregnant. Let the rejoicing being! Soon to be replaced by terror!
We've bypassed the troubles of the last attempt at the big PG by a bunch of antibiotics when the grand event occurred, lots of prayer-wheel spinning and holding of breath. Now she's just like a pregnant woman in her third trimester:* she's bloated, irritable, and eats anything and everything that gets within a few feet of her long and very agile nose.
The test made it official today at the vet's office but we still don't really know how many little rug rats she's carrying around in there. Every time any of us try to palpate her belly she sucks it in like a failed dieter at the doctor's office and the pups end up sliding into her chest cavity, well out of counting reach. I'm not horrifically worried, honest. I feel about this pregnancy the same way I felt when my daughter was in utero: all I want is that the little ones be healthy. I don't care how many or what sex or what colours, I just want a healthy batch of little ones. In my daughter's case, though, I KNEW it was just one pup in there. In Belle's case it could easily be up to a dozen or more. In her 'family' there are bitches who have whelped litters of FIFTEEN.
Oh please don't let it be fifteen.
I'm thinking about setting up a pool. The litter is due somewhere around the last week of October, a few days before Hallo'een for certain. We've already decided on a Hallo'een litter name, and have compiled long lists of names for individual pups. There's even several VIPs in the Borzoi world who have dibs, which I have to say is awfully flattering. The thing being, there's not fifteen of them waiting in line! So me, what I'm thinking about doing is setting up a pool: guess how many pups there will be, and the birthday. Get it right and you get a puppy. Heck, get it CLOSE and you get a puppy. *lol*
Okay, so not really. I'd be crucified if I gave away a pup, but I'm wondering if maybe after the dozenth pup makes its way into the world, damp and squealing and smelling vaguely funny we might be thinking about giving away one or two at bargain basement prices.
Honest, I'm excited about it. I watch Sheba and Remy run and play in the backyard, powerful and elegant and quite frankly goofy as hell sometime. That's part of the fun, too. Watching them soar around the back yard like rockets then just as suddenly stopping to try and snap a fly out of the air to eat. Yes, eat. I'm just wondering what it's going to be like when there's a whole giant pack of them. Like fifteen. Oh my headache just got worse.
It really is exciting, though. Knowing that she's growing them in there. Each one a potential Field Champion. Each one a potential Best of Show winnner. Each one potentially an 80 pound lapdog, like Remy and Sheba both. Like I said, goofy.
Sheba even smiles. It's something that dogs in her family do. Smiling is an ancient throwback to baring your teeth at someone or something to make them back off. We use it now as a social connection. Well, Sheba has made the connection somehow--she smiles at people. She'll curl her lips up in the most frightening manner, as though she were snarling but no sound comes out except for some soft snorting, her tail wags in big circles, her head goes sideways and she just radiates happiness. She's gotten to where I can make her smile for me. I simply make a big, gruesome smile at her, make some gentle snorting noises and she'll smile right back, as happy as she can be. Then she'll try to jump up and put her front paws on my shoulders (not hard for her these days) and kiss me.
It makes me wonder what this new batch is going to be like. I cannot WAIT! Just...please, not too many, okay?
* An interesting fact--a dog's pregnancy runs about three times as fast as a human's, so now that she's passed her first month she's reached the equivalent of her first trimester. She's starting to get swollen ankles and crave strange things to eat, like soap. Honest. Well okay, not the ankles.