On May 25, we welcomed a new Clever Hound to the pack. Clancy’s Something to Believe In was born by planned C-section because she was the only puppy in the litter. A larger litter would have been nice, but we are thrilled to have a healthy puppy after 3 missed attempts at breeding Ginny over the past 3 years. Ginny only comes into season every 12 months, so each miss meant waiting a whole year before trying again. Last year a vaginal culture confirmed a treatable infection, which seemed to be what made the difference this time. We worked closely with our fabulous reproductive vet, Country Companion Animal Hospital, and greatly appreciate the willingness of Karen and Clint Livingston to go out of their way to get a semen shipment to us in the middle of a dog show weekend and a blizzard. 

 

Up until this breeding, there had not been any evidence that Ginny had conceived, so I didn’t let myself get excited about the idea of puppies until her ultrasound appointment. When we saw a puppy, but only one, there was still a lot that could go wrong. It seemed like it was time to start believing that this might work out. I came up with Bee’s name on the way home from the vet that day, knowing that it would work for a puppy of either sex but really hoping Ginny’s baby would be a girl. 

 

In more than 30 years of breeding PBGVs, all but one of my girls have had easy natural deliveries. Salsa had needed c-sections, but both times she delivered a puppy on her own first, so she had the hormonal benefit of a natural delivery. Singleton puppies rarely stimulate labor and Ginny’s due date was during Memorial Day Weekend, so I opted for a planned c-section to give baby Bee the best possible chance. The first 2 days after this were rough because Ginny had little milk and no interest in her daughter. Milk came in early enough for Bee to get maternal immunity from colostrum, but getting her to nurse in the first 24 hours was critical for this. It became apparent quickly that my normal whelping box setup wasn’t going to work for the amount of support that Ginny needed, but a friend and student was kind enough to let me use her larger setup, which has made a huge difference. As an additional benefit, sitting in the whelping box with my laptop is a nice perk of being self employed. 

 

Bee will be 2 weeks old tomorrow.  She has more than doubled her birth weight and is pretty active and bold about exploring her space. As a singleton, she seems to crave close contact and she enjoys cuddling with people, Ginny, and her Snuggle Puppy toys, which have a realistic heartbeat. A Snuggle Safe warming disc worked really nicely for adding warmth without using a heat lamp and was definitely something I will use again. I have started adding some other toys and safe surfaces to give her new textures to explore. Bee is almost finished with Early Neurological Stimulation and Early Scent Introduction, which is done from Days 3-16. I have alternated between scents we will use in competition and general household things. So far she has seemed to like everything except lemon and soap. Once this protocol is finished, I will put together a video of each day of this. 

 

Over the next week, Bee’s eyes will open and she will start to respond to sounds. Puppies change really quickly in these early weeks, so I will try to share her development regularly. Bee’s parents are GCHS CH Soletrader Dean Martin and CH Clancy’s Mischief Managed BN RE MX MXJ MXF T2B SWA SCE SBE SHDE FCAT RATN PCSH CGCU TKA. 

 

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