December 19, 2011

German Shepherd Puppies & Early Christmas Gifts

I am a bit heart broken this morning as I write you... :(

We have two German Shepherds, one male and one female.  Saturday morning we found that our female, Genesis, had 8 puppies.  This came as quite a surprise, we didn't even know she was pregnant... she showed no signs at all!  When my son went to feed them, he noticed the puppies and called for my husband to come see, when they started taking count, Genesis got up and walked around... it was then they discovered that she had sat on three of them, and they suffocated : (. 

We moved her to a warmer spot in our garage, it was pretty cold the night she had them and the poor pups were cold, she more than likely climbed on top of them on purpose to try and warm them. If only we had known... we just didn't know.  That's only the beginning.... at this point, out of eight pups, we only had five survivors, four looked very well and one looked lethargic and frozen.  I took that one inside and warmed him up until he started moving around, then I re-introduced him to Genesis. 

All seemed well, the pups were sucking... it seemed as if they were feeding well. 

After a little while we noticed some of the pups were beginning to be sluggish, not moving around as much.  We left the house for a couple of hours Saturday night and when we returned, we noticed that two of the pups had ventured far away from Genesis and the rest of the puppies... so I took those two inside to warm them up as I had did the first one.. they were so cold, poor little guys. 

That's when we decided we needed to take them all, Genesis included, inside the house.  She is kind of clumsy, and had stepped and sat on a few many times while we were outside with her... we thought this would be best because we could really keep an eye out for the puppies. When we returned outside to gather Gen and the rest of the pups, she was moving them... digging a hole to put them in... the noticed I had taken the other two inside and I guess she was scared that I would take the rest away as well.  In the rush of trying to protect them, she caught one of the pups under the arm and slung him... gashing under his arm pretty badly. :(

We recovered all of the pups and brought them all inside with us. Sunday morning when we woke up all the pups seemed to be doing fine, just moving around a little less than they were when we first found them. Later Saturday afternoon, however, we found two more pups dead... suffocated like the other three.  So now we were down to only three puppies. One of the three was very small, the runt... another survivor was the one with the huge gash under his little arm... and the third was a strong female who was always searching for her moms milk, grunting and crying. 

Upon closer examination of the pups Saturday night, we noticed their tongues were almost drying up... we couldn't figure out what was going on... then we realized after examining Genesis, she was not producing any milk!!!  These poor puppies had gone all this time without eating... they were sucking, but not getting anything!  I ran to the store as fast as I could and grabbed some cans of goats milk. 

My husband is a type 1 diabetic, so we had syringes to use to hand feed the little gals. We warmed the milk and went away at feeding these hungry little babies.  Despite our efforts, it was too late for the small runt, she was too far dehydrated to bring her back :'(... we lost her.  This morning the one with the gash under her arm, was almost gasping for air... poor girl will not make it through the day. 

The third little puppy... the last of the eight... is eating very well and starting to get stronger with each feeding. I hope and pray that this one makes it.  We are waking every two to three hours to feed the little one.

I will keep you posted on how she does. This was Genesis' first litter, poor thing.

Also, on another note. I gave one of my homemade Christmas presents early this year. My father-in-law passed away in February of 2010. My mother-in-law was going to give his clothes to the local nursing home, knowing that most of them are in need of good clothes.  I stopped her one day and asked her if I could have a few of his most worn button down shirts... I knew I wanted to make something of them, I just wasn't exactly sure what it was going to be at that moment.  I removed all patches, buttons, pockets, and seams from the shirts to make sure I got the most usable fabric I could. 

A couple of months ago, I figured out what I was going to do with them... I would make a memory quilt for his children.  I made one for my sister-in-law, Misty... my father-in-laws nick name for her was "sugar baby", and I made sure to stitch that into the quilt, as well as her favorite scripture, Phil. 4:13. 
On the back of the quilt, I used one of his pockets, the ones that had his name embroidered over the top already, as my quilt label. I left the pocket usable so they could store their favorite pictures, or write down their favorite memories and place them in the pocket. 

I made one for my sister-in-law, one for my brother-in-law, Matthew, and will be making one soon for my husband.  They loved it! Tears were shed... I really was hoping that they would use the quilts... they are not large, just lap quilts... but they both said they are going to pick them up.

Here are some pictures my sister-in-law took of it...  I blurred out my information on the label... and yes, my father-in-laws name was Uston... pronounced Houston without the H sound. She kind of took the picture of the top of it at a strange angle... but you get the point.  I did all the trim in black, as to not take away from the clothes fabric, but to actually make each of them highlighted in a sense. I got the pattern idea from Tea Rose Home!

 Top of the quilt

Back of the quilt with the pocket label... 

Well.... that's my ramble for today!



Kara said...

I'm so so sorry about the puppies...can't even imagine...
K @ The Chuppies/NOBH

Kim said...

We had shepherds when I was growing up and experienced some of what you describe. It's so hard when you can't save the pups.

Your quilt touched my heart, and I wish I had this idea when my grandparents passed away. What a wonderful gift and remembrance!

Thanks so much for sharing.

Angel said...

Thank you Kara, and Thank you Kim! The last one is doing very well.. and I found a formula for pups I posted today that we are using. She seems to be doing well on it.

I'm glad you liked the quilt. It was actually the very first quilt I have ever made... so I had alot of pressure! :) The recipient was very touched.