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When my daughter was eleven years old, I decided that a good introduction to the birds and the bees would be watching our friend’s beagle, Sammy, when she had her puppies.

While Sammy was a small beagle, about 20 pounds, the father of the puppies was thought to be a Labrador/Rottweiler mix weighing about 75 pounds. We were afraid there might be problems when such a small dog tried to give birth to what might be some large puppies, and it turned out we were right. My friend called me the day the puppies were coming and said she and Sammy were on their way to the veterinarian’s office and I should meet them there. Sammy was indeed having trouble giving birth to the puppies. When we arrived at the vet’s office, the veterinarian examined Sammy and decided she would have the puppies by caesarian section. The vet prepped Sammy and asked us to help assist with the births. We were to take the puppies when he handed them to us and clean them by rubbing them with a soft towel.

Jessie & Daisy

Sammy was on her back with all four legs tied down and a breathing mask over her nose and mouth. The vet made the incision and started pulling puppies out … one, two, three, four, all squirming little things with beagle markings, and all tiny—small enough to fit
inside a tea cup. But the next puppy out, the last one, was bigger than the rest by about one third and the vet actually had retrieve her from the birth canal. She was the one that had been blocking the rest from coming out. I got handed that last puppy and as I was rubbing her, I noticed she was not squirming like the others had been. I asked the vet what to do and he told me to blow hard into the puppy’s nose. I did and she start squirming like all the others!

At the time we were living in a duplex that was located on a busy street. We were happy being cat people. We planned on getting a dog when we moved to the country and got some land but, as you all know, life has a habit of disregarding your plans. That big puppy ended up coming home with us when she was weaned, and we named her Daisy. We had Daisy for over 17 years. In case you’re wondering if the lack of oxygen in the womb hurt her any, she was smart, easy to train and a great companion for our family. She is buried on our property in the country that she did live long enough to enjoy.

 

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