Ha! I just figured out where I went wrong with Midge. According to Victorian British dog expert Francis Clater, fresh meat brought out the worst in unspayed females. When the animals were in heat their primal passions could be inflamed by a “primitive” – and therefore “wrong” diet, leading to disgraceful bouts of nymphomania. To head off such a crisis, ice water baths and meals of crustless bread, ground hemp seed, and milk were prescribed to calm the animal’s nerves. (from The Lost History of the Canine Race by Mary Elizabeth Thurston)
When Midge went into heat, she was eating a raw meat diet. If I had left her on kibble, possibly supplementing the kibble with ground hemp seed or soaking it in milk, she likely would not have allowed Gel to breed her.
See? Feeding raw meat really is dangerous!
I wish I had a dollar for everyone who has written to me saying they’d like one of the puppies, but they are not ready for one now. That is unfortunate because I doubt I’ll breed again. I never really intended to breed dogs. I’ve said before this litter has turned into a blessing in disguise, but would I intentionally do it again? Probably not. Unless these puppies turn into superstars, which they very well could, I likely won’t breed again.
When I was breeding cats, I often came under fire for doing things in other-than-the-conventional matter. The same thing is happening now with this litter. I try to take a very common sense approach to all that I do. If I end up wrong, I admit it. Letting Midge exercise prior to delivering her puppies ended up being something in her favor because her delivery was quick and easy. Regarding letting Midge exercise now that she’s nursing, the puppies continue to gain weight; they are not crying or acting unhappy. Midge is acting perfectly fine as well. I pay very, very close attention to Midge and the puppies and I see absolutely nothing wrong. Midge has a good head on her shoulders. I do not think she’d do more than she physically could or something that was excessively uncomfortable to her. I know some dogs would, but in my opinion, those are the ones who have vaccine-related issues. Most anything done in excess is unhealthy.
I left the dogs in today. I hate continuing to ask my neighbors to let them out during the day, but the high today is supposed to be 99 degrees. That’s just too hot for puppies to be out in, no matter how much shade they have. I suppose if I really was a hard core natural-rearing fiend, I’d say in the wild the bitch and puppies would be outside in this weather, but they’d likely be underground in a den. So as always, I am taking a common sense approach to what I do and the dogs are inside in the A/C.
I’m getting ready to pack up and move back North where its cool and green. I wonder if I’d be able to keep my sheep on the balcony of my apartment. It would make for good close work for Gel working sheep on a balcony.
Last night I put the puppies on one of the canvas dog cots I have in the living room. While they were sleeping in a pile, Gel went over to check them out. This is the first time he’s expressed any interest in them. He sniffed them, gave them a couple of licks and then lied down on the floor near the cot. I guess he’s decided the puppies are a job well done.