Canine gestation is 60 days, and the first tie for Disa and Bjarki was on November 24th. So the first possible day was yesterday and since the new whelping box we ordered just arrived, I am ready. I’ve done all the errands that must be done, we have the stage set, let’s go!
She doesn’t really seem that ready. She is sleeping more than usual, but still eating, still running out the door to chase the whatever away from the chicken coop. Grr, arg, bark. She’s a working girl and not quite ready to go on maternity leave yet. I keep remembering the kind of working mother she has been for her last two litters.
There was one time with her first litter when she was nursing them and the pigs got out. She stood up with them all still attached, and stripped them off of her using the edge of the whelping box as she got out. (It made such a noise and the wailing pups!) She rushed downstairs and out the door, got all of the pigs back in, then ran back inside to calm the crying and hungry babes and feed them. They all fell into a deep sleep for a long time, including her. It was so sweet to watch. I remember days like that with my own two children, long ago.
Getting to watch her raise Gaela from her last litter has been such a joy. She is such a great mother. She’s taught Gaela not to chase chickens (body block, give a stick), to swim (by using a stick as a floaty), to catch mice, to scare away raccoons. She is so affectionate and cuddly with her. They both sleep cuddled up with us on the bed at night. But she is also really strict. She taught her to chill the fuck out when she was going nutso. Somehow you aren’t allowed to do that with children — hold them in the snow until they calmed down.
She played with the second litter far more than she did with the first one. Bjarki played with the first litter. Oh boy did he play with them. Chase! Dig! Swim! So much to do, so little time. With seven of the beasts, they were a handful to keep entertained and he was the dog for the job. I know it’s crazy to think that he knew which litter was his, but he sure seemed to know. He was nice to the second litter, but it was so different. I guess we’ll know with this litter, right? These are his babies.
So anyway. We’re ready to have the babies now. The waiting is so hard! She seems to like the whelping box and has abandoned the den she dug outside in the snow. I’m still only letting her outside for short amounts of time. As it gets closer, she might decide that her den is better like she tried last time. We had to poke her with sticks and use our mean voices to convince her to get out from under that shed. She is such a funny combination of smarts and instinct driven behaviors.
If you are interested in an Icelandic Sheepdog puppy of your very own, get in touch with me. They will be $950, unregistered since I never got Bjarki’s papers (damn it), and will make fantastic family dogs. I’d love for some to go to farms and to families with kids. I tell mine all that time that “Sorry, I can’t buy you a kid” but they love young children and teens SO MUCH. We are very boring if you ask them, so I routinely borrow babies and children for them to play with, heh. They have siblings who do agility, disc dog and other sports, as well as herding and all around farm dogs. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the list!
The watched bitch never whelps … or at least that is what it feels like! Bring on the puppies!