26 December 2010


Last night at 7pm, after a day of pacing the backyard and digging holes to lie in, Willow the maremma had her first puppy. A girl called Joey.

It was wonderful to watch her doing her thing. Even though it was her first litter, she knew to lick the puppy to clean her and to stimulate her into life, she knew to bite the umbilical cord and to eat the placenta.

Joey came out wet and mucky, above, and pretty soon she had her clean and fluffy, below.

There was a stage before the first one was born where all we could see sticking out of her vagina was Joey's pink nose and mouth, it was so scary and exciting and we were all crying.

She went on to have another girl at 9pm, a boy at 11pm, another boy at 1am, one over night and her sixth this morning at 8am.

Willow has been so patient and silent and calm during the process.

Its now three hours since the last puppy was born and she's finally put her head down and closed her eyes. She must be exhausted. The puppies on the other hand are feeding and jostling each other out of the way and clambering over her and all without even opening their eyes.

It has been such an honour to be allowed to witness such an incredible life event.

Congratulations Willow!


biobabbler said...

Thank you for sharing that!

farmdoc said...

A beautiful story poignantly told, and illustrated, Kate.
Congratulations to all at Daylesford Organics - not forgetting the pups' father, Nick.
Come to think of it, it's apt that the pups began to be born on Xmas Day, and their dad's name is Nick.

belinda said...

Ahh, puppy breath. What a wonderful gift your Willow provided.

Kind Regards

Amy said...


They are so CUTE! We'd be up for a pup - or a swap for later when our bitch has them.

What a lovely Christmas present.

Well done, Willow.

xx Amy

Sue said...

How absolutely wonderful, and 3 of each - how sweet. I am sure she will be a great mum to them.

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

Oh my goodness how fantastic to watch it all happen- how great for the girls. x

teddybearswednesday said...

What an amazing special thing to witness, and such amazing timing too. Isn't amazing the way even though it was her first litter, she knew exactly what to do.
Animals are amazing.
Thank you for sharing this special moment. xo

Nikki said...

Thanks for sharing this great story, Kate. Absolutely gorgeous pics, too.


Meg said...

Zero says: welcome to the family!

Meg says: Incredible photos!

Can't wait to meet them. xx

74 Lime Lane said...

Oh how sweet. Congrats Willow and Nick on your new family! What a lovely Christmas present

ZippyZippy said...

How exiting! I had no idea dogs took that long to give birth.
Thanks for sharing a lovely story.

Anonymous said...

Aw - this is just beautiful!

Chris Burrows said...

Congratulations from Winnipeg Canada. I had never heard of the breed previously. That fur coat looks like a good one for our winters up here, I hope Mom and pups grow happily and in good health.

Evie said...

congratulations willow.
great story and lovely photos.
reminded me of watching a similar event when i was a kid - i didnt know whether to laugh or cry - i mostly cried through as i wasnt so sure everything was ok : )