Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Dave and I took Della and Siri for a nice walk yesterday. We even got to stop and visit with Marianne, our "whelping buddy". She made a nice fuss over both dogs and Della was very well-behaved for the visit, but Siri was a total brat, squeaking and whining when she felt Della was getting more attention than her. A good demonstration of the difference between a CCI raised dog and a regular pet dog. (yes, it is my fault she only went to 2 sets of obedience classes and I let her get away with too much, so sue me...) :0)

We only walked about a half mile, but when we got home Della just flopped down on the rug and lay there. I guess she is getting big enough to really feel the extra weight of the pregnancy. That means I will be switching to more frequent, shorter walks from now on.

Other than being more tired than usual and her expanding middle, the biggest change with pregnancy for Della has been her behavior. She has always been people-oriented, but now she almost never leaves my side and constantly wants to be pet. Great when I'm watching tv, a little difficult when I'm doing chores!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Some days I think that Della is a lab/camel cross instead of lab/golden. This dog LOVES to drink. Even before she got pregnant she drank way more than Siri, our lab/poodle cross (labradoodle, don't ya know). She doesn't "hurry" more than Siri, so I don't know where she is putting all that water! :0)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Poor Della, one of her favorite things used to be to crawl under my son's bed during bedtime stories. Now she can't comfortably make it. She also is slowing down when it comes time to play fetch. We have gotten into the habit of playing with her and Siri seperately. Otherwise Siri always gets to the toy first.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Journey Begins

This last summer my family and I brought home a breeding female lgx (lab/golden cross) from CCI (Canine Companions for Independence) national headquarters in Santa Rosa, CA. We had for years contemplated raising a puppy for CCI or Guide Dogs for the Blind, but were loathe to do so as we felt it would be too heartbreaking for the children (and us) to raise a dog for 18 months then have to give it up. Then this spring we learned about the CCI breeder program. In this program we house a breeding female, whelp her puppies for the program, and get to keep the dog we have fallen in love with for the rest of her life! This seemed like much more fun and still a great way to give to a program we really believe in. Also, having puppies is fun and this is a very guilt-free way to do so. We don't have to worry about producing unwanted dogs or trying to find good homes for the puppies. These pups are all wanted and needed.

So, we brought home Della II in July and then got to wait for her to go into heat. This she did on October 15th. So up to Santa Rosa we went for her 3 week stay in the "spa". She was bred 3 times to the most gorgeous black lab you could ever hope to see named Baumann. Then we brought her home and waited..

Around 3 weeks later, still not showing, Della decided it was time for morning sickness! So it was "please eat Della, we'll add anything to your food!" rice, cottage cheese, canned food, chopped chicken, cooked ground beef, broth.... And at the same time having to monitor our other 2 dogs so they didn't get the food when she would wander off in the middle of dinner!!

As per CCI protocol, we brought her back to Santa Rosa a month before her due date for an ultrasound. On Nov. 21st, the vet pronounced her "full of puppies". She wouldn't say how many were in there, but everywhere she placed the ultrasound probe we saw puppies!!

Now, Della is the queen bee of our house. Spoiled and pampered and loved. Thankfully, her morning sickness is gone and she reliably finishes her meals before the other 2 can get to it. And boy is her waistline expanding fast!! We're watching her intake so she doesn't gain weight too fast (especially since Dr Ruth praised us for keeping her weight in check so far) and keeping her exercise level up to keep her fit (our other dogs help with that chore). Now all that is left is the waiting (oh, and getting my hubby to help build a puppy pen!!)