welcome to the sisko puppies
Updated: Jun 8, 2018
One of the things I love about breeding dogs is watching family traits get passed from generation to generation. Sometimes a trait will skip a generation or even two, and then turn up when you least expect it. That goes for good stuff like cute habits, cleverness or pretty eyes as well as the less desirable stuff like, say, a long nose, a propensity to run off on walks or a tendency towards noisiness. Not that our dogs have any of these rather unfortunate problems.... just an example, y'know.
One thing that Ulla has apparently inherited from her mother, Emmi, along with a sweet temperament, is an inclination towards whelping puppies early. Emmi's first litter, of which Ulla was one, took us quite by surprise as I had not had puppies turn up 3 days early before. You can read about that exciting event on the old blog. Her second litter came, as I recall, about a day early - not so unusual. Ulla's puppies? Four days early. FOUR!
In my early days of breeding, I always worried about puppies coming too early and suffering the various complications and problems that often beset preemies. Wait a minute - who am I kidding? I still worry about that. In fact, as the time creeps past the one-week-to-go milestone, I breathe an audible sigh of relief as I was once given the advice that puppies can probably survive if they are born as much as a week early.
You might think that Ulla's 4-days-early puppies are small, then, for newborn Lappies. Think again. They are stonking great weights. Not over-size or anything, but definitely not petite.
Ulla doesn't live here, but she does spend a lot of time at my house. Nonetheless she was determined not to have these puppies until she could find some privacy - after dark and after we were all long asleep. There had been no digging, not much in the way of panting, and certainly no evidence of contractions. She refused to settle in the whelping box. She told us in no uncertain terms that she was not ready to give birth anytime soon. And so we left her in the crate where she always sleeps when she visits. Four hours later, at 2am, Jay woke me up because he heard a little yelp. Sure enough, there was Ulla with her first puppy in the crate. She had done it all by herself with barely a squeak. We hustled mama and baby upstairs into the waiting whelping box and I settled down to wait for the next one. We were expecting about four, according to the ultrasound scan.
It was quite a wait.
In fact, by 5 am I had given up hope and was resigning myself to having only one puppy to raise and all the complications that brings. Then at 7 am she had 2 in 15 minutes and a fourth about a half hour later. Unfortunately the last puppy was stillborn. He was born without his sac, so he didn't have much of a chance. I am just grateful I have lost so few puppies over the years, but it's still a sad event, although I do believe that you cannot argue with nature.
In the end she had 3 strong and healthy girls. They are all wolf sable like their dad and granny Emmi, I think. The jury is still out on number 2 who might be black and tan like her mum. Things should be clearer in a day or two as the wolf sable coat changes so dramatically and rapidly day-to-day.
Individual puppy photos to follow shortly.
After much deliberation and consultation with various Lappy friends, I finally decided to give these puppies the litter name Sisko, as that is Finnish for "sister" - appropriate for my only all-girl group ever. As always, their new owners will get to choose their Finnish kennel names, but I decided to give them baby names after the first ever girl group. I know that the Supremes are traditionally given the credit for being the first ever girl group, but actually it was the Andrews sisters, so these puppies will be Patty, LaVerne and Maxene.