We were so happy, proud and relieved on June 19th. The day that Veerle became a mother. Veerle had withstood her heavy birth, which ended in an emergency caesarean section. Both boys also survived this adventure. What we did not know in the operating room at the vet was that we were going to have wonderoers weeks.
We knew that a female must get used to her puppies after a caesarean operation. She has no idea that she actually gave birth to the puppies. She has not seen and felt it. We also knew that a female might not want to feed. After all, the operating wound is directly at the ‘milk bar’. We therefore had a plan “B”. If Veerle did not accept the puppies, our hope was for our Alpha lady and also the grandmother of the puppies, Eva. She has already proven to be a wonderful, dedicated mother.
Still dull of the anesthetic, Veerle accepted that the boys were put at the ‘milk bar’. A nice and hopeful moment there in the recovery room at the vet. At least they had the all-important first breast milk!
Once home and recovered from the anesthetic, Veerle’s behavior changed. She only wanted to feed if she felt like it. But that was not the intention and the boys clearly showed that. The solution was found quickly. If I sat down in the whelping box with Veerle, she would want to feed. But only if she could sit on my lap. The boys lay on my leg to drink well. This ritual repeated itself, as you understand, several times a day and also at night. Special moments ..
Those special moments became even more special when it turned out that Veerle lifted her nose to wash the boys. The boys were not really dirty, playing outside was not yet on the program. Washing is intended to teach the boys to be relieved and to pee. There was a ‘clean’ task for us. Countless times during the first few weeks we massaged the boys’ belly and behinds with a damp cotton pad (similar to the mother’s tongue) so that they could pee and poop. Fortunately we received help from our very patient Eva. She regularly washed one of the boys naturally.
After 3 weeks Veerle thought it was enough. Not surprising considering everything that had happened. It didn’t bother Veerle. Despite all the good care, her surgical wound went on and a single suture released prematurely. She was very brave to be treated twice for this. In the meantime, the boys had already grown into relaxed, reasonably independent puppies. There were still some beautiful moments with mom Veerle but it was clear that she would gladly leave the further upbringing to Eva and us.
The boys are now old and wise enough to go out into the world.
Binck now lives in his new pack and Bickel stays with us for a few more weeks before moving to Switzerland.
We are (extra) proud of these boys. They have grown into beautiful, sweet, social and lively young Drents. Despite all the setbacks, Veerle did very well. She has emphasized to us that breeding is not an obvious thing.
And Eva .. Thanks for all your wisdom!
It were wonderous weeks….