Well, we've come full circle here at Briarwood Pups. Everyone says "how can you place the babies?" Well, it's not easy, but I'll tell you what's harder - placing the adults who have lived and slept with you for years. Any good breeding program has to be willing to place at least enough adults to allow space for new, younger dogs to be able to carry the lines forward, but I find that hard to do. And since our house only has so much space, I've decided to discontinue breeding pugs. Maybe in the future, as mine get older and pass away, 3-5 years down the road, I might reconsider having one litter out of a younger pup, but as far as being able to average a litter a year, we won't be able to do that anymore.
With that decision, we thought that Jolene's litter born in August would be our last because only she and Isabelle remained intact and Isabelle couldn't have any more babies. And what a shame, I kept thinking to myself, that we couldn't have an Isabelle pup to keep and have for the future since most of our remaining pugs are all around the same age and statistically, will probably pass close together. But with family histories, and Isabelle's previously unsuccessful matings, we knew that we were just out of luck as far as getting a pup from her was concerned. So when she came into her last cycle and didn't have any bleeding, we were totally surprised with a hook being our only indicator that she was in heat. But, I didn't even bother to write down the date since I "knew" she couldn't have puppies.
Well, as Gomer would say, Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!! Isabelle became not only pregnant, but as huge as the Hindenberg. I could see the puppies kicking her ribs, as though if she didn't let them out soon, they'd just dig their way out the side and be done! And their little heads were bumping on her ribs and she begged me not to put my hand on their stomach to feel them because it only encouraged the little devils.
When the day came, Isabelle spent the preceeding 24 hours destroying anything fabric in my bedroom. She opened up my wardrobe and completely pulled everything out of one side and made a nest in there for herself, and she left the rest of the room in shambles. I was up all night with her, trying to put things back only for her to sneak them back out and around again. And we were up till 4am when I finally dozed off into a deep enough sleep that I managed a few hours before going to work the next day. So she stayed with relatives all day, being watched like a hawk for any signs of contractions. The following night, she began labor and delivered 7 puppies between 11:30 pm and 7:30 am on December 3, 2011. And they are beautiful. They are strong, healthy, gorgeous, and full of life and love. I feel so blessed to have this precious gift.
So Isabelle, thank you for this gift to bring this stage of our lives to a close. Girl, you sure know how to go out in style!