Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Puppy Love

I work at the Canastota Library and am always amazed at the resources that are available to the community here. Those resources proved to be invaluable to me several weeks ago.

It has always been my dream to breed small dogs and when I received a female Cairn Terrier for a birthday a few years ago, I was delighted. I named her Maggie and soon we were also the owners of her mate, Argus. Gus and Maggie were getting along well and before we knew it, Maggie was expecting. As we left the vet’s office after confirming her pregnancy, I knew I was going to need to prepare for the upcoming blessed event.

I had already used the library to find books on the Cairn Terrier breed when I was deciding what kind of dog I would like to own. Some of the best books I found were “Cairn Terriers” by Patricia Lehman and “The Complete Dog Book” by the American Kennel Club. Online resources were also helpful during this research! As well, we found local breeders and talked to them about the breed including health issues, training, feeding and more. Our vet was a wealth of information and offered suggestions along the way. And, so, now knowing that Maggie was expecting, I stopped at the library to search for books on birthing puppies.

“Breeding A Litter” by J.M. Evans seemed to be the most comprehensive book on the subject of doggie pregnancy and delivery and I left the library prepared to read every page! I thought I would be prepared for just about anything we encountered during Maggie’s pregnancy and delivery. Our vet indicated that Maggie would probably deliver four to six puppies and indicated that the breed were very good “whelpers” so we shouldn’t have many problems. The book, I thought, would do just the trick. While I skimmed the books on a couple of occations, I never did get around to reading it before the puppies came.

Early one Saturday morning, I went to Maggie’s kennel to take her out for her morning constitution. As I opened the crate, I noticed something wasn’t quite right. Maggie had her back to me and wouldn’t come out of her crate. As I reached in to get her, I quickly realized that puppy number two was on her way into the world and puppy one was already here! I grabbed the book and started reading…I figured better late than never! As it turned out, Maggie instinctively knew what to do but the book helped me to understand what to look for, what would come next and how to help if Maggie had any problems with delivery. Three hours later, Maggie and Gus were parents to four healthy Cairn Terrier pups—two baby boys and two baby girls.

Today, I am looking for books on puppies and their nutritional needs during the first few weeks of life! This is so much fun and the library is able to offer help at every turn. From books on housetraining, to medical needs, natural health tips and obedience training tips, the library can assist anyone who has questions about owning a dog.

The Bark is a new magazine that the library carries. I’ve been reading this monthly since the library purchased it. This month, we’ve received two new books that dog owners will find helpful. They are:

• “Green Dog, Good Dog. Reducing your Dog’s Carbon Footprint” by Dominique DeVito

• “The Everything New Puppy Book” by Carlo DeVito

I don’t know if the DeVitos are related but both books are great!

I've posted two pictures here.  The first picture shows the puppies during their first week and the second is a picture of the first born last Saturday at 3 weeks old! 

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