Three new lives begin!

Posted By on September 12, 2017


Melly's 3


Breeding collies is not for the faint hearted.   I had been getting things ready for Melody’s big event for weeks.  I checked my list of all the stuff I use at whelping time, gathered it together, and ordered the things I needed to replenish. Finally we were all set. I started taking Melody’s temperature and recording it a week before she was due. I got the fast read thermometers, but she still began to go the other way when she saw a thermometer in my hand.  Her temperature read the same day after day, until last Friday. There it was – a drop of almost 3 degrees below normal. That usually means whelping is around the corner – usually less than 48 hours away. 

Melody seemed uncomfortable Friday night.  I slept near her so she could alert me if her labor started. She woke me up numerous times, but she was not in labor. She just wanted to be pet. All day Saturday Melody laid around sleeping, moaning, and trying to get comfortable with puppies visibly moving around in her tummy. Melody has always been a moaner, always tending towards being a bit of a drama queen. By Saturday night she had to go outside and relieve herself a dozen times or more. I knew puppies would be coming soon.  Neither of us got much sleep, Friday, or Saturday night.

Sunday morning her contractions started for real. Before too long her first pup was born. He was a sad sight. I thought he was dead at first. The poor little guy looked like something the cat drug in. Melody and I worked on him until finally he was squealing. He was a white factored, sable merle boy. I called him Possum.

The next pup to come was a very white factored blue merle boy, similar to Melody except probably rough coated. With color and markings similar to his mother, we are calling this boy Mel Jr. He is a cute and apparently healthy boy. He was ready to eat from birth!

So we were waiting on the next puppy because I could feel at least two more in her belly. Melody had good strong contractions that went on and on and on. After a long while of contractions but no puppy we called our vet. Of course it was a Sunday. It seems like most emergencies happen on Sundays or holidays. It so happened that our reproduction vet was going to be open on a Sunday afternoon and would see Melody as an emergency.

With construction traffic, (do they ever finish fixing roads?) it took me almost an hour to get Melody to the vet. The poor girl was still pushing but no puppies came out during the trip. The whole time at the vet poor Melody was pushing with each contraction. No uterine inertia here. She was pushing HARD! 

The vet did a sonogram and x-rays. The problem was that one puppy from each of the two uterine horns had come down toward the birth canal at the same time. They were in a road rage battle that neither could win. There was just not room for two babies to come out at the same time, and they were both stuck.  At this point there was no choice but to get a C-section. Melody had done her best. It was a matter of bad luck for her pups to come down at the same time. She fed her two already born babies until it was time for the C-section. She was still trying to push the others out on her way to surgery.

The good news is: Melody is fine, and the C-section recovered two live puppies. One of the stuck puppies didn’t make it. I stayed close to the vet office while Melody recovered, and fed the two babies born earlier while we were waiting on their mamma and siblings.

The vet walked out holding a tricolor boy pup and a sable girl. I thought they were two of the cutest newborn puppies I had ever seen. I didn’t know if the C-section would recover any live pups, so I was overjoyed to see these babies!

Back home, Melody has been able to feed the pups. Thank God she is such a good mother. The three bigger pups all latch on to nipples like little pigs. The small boy we called Possum couldn’t latch on without help. I tube fed him puppy milk every couple of hours. Sadly by Sunday morning, little Possum is gone. It’s so sad to lose a new baby. I would rather never meet the babies than to hold them, and do all I know to keep them going only to lose them. It’s a sad part of breeding dogs.

Now we will focus on the three new lives. Let me introduce, Mel Jr- a very white factored rough blue merle boy.

Blue boy aka Mel Jr


blue boy Mel Jr face


And the sable girl involved in the birth canal traffic jam- Miss Jilly.  For all the people waiting on a rough sable girl- I am very sorry about that… I would bet the farm that Miss Jilly is a SMOOTH. I think she’s beautiful!

Jilly- Sable girl side


sable girl Jilly face close up



And lastly we have a tricolor boy, called Roland, after the Dark Tower series. He was the last to be born- wondering what was taking so long, I suppose. He is a perfect little boy. I am not sure yet if he will be a smooth or rough, but it won’t take too long to tell.


Tri boy Roland side



And that is that. There will be no more puppies from Melody, so these babies are extra special. In case you can’t tell, we love our Melly. I am mostly a rough collie fancier, but Melody is a unique character that made me love a smooth as much as any rough collie that ever shared my couch.  I hope to share our couch with Melody for a lot more years to come.


Melly with her pig before she went into labor.


























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