By Rebecca Larsen of Louisiana
Adelle was nothing but a bag of bones, and belly when she arrived at the animal shelter. She had obviously been mistreated. She had been caught in a dog trap on a man’s land, and he brought her in. Her ears were completely cropped off, very crudely. They had scabs on them where the scar is. She had scars on her body, and a bad limp. Her tail had been docked at home at some point in time as well.
She never showed any signs of aggression when I got her. I gave her a few days to acclimate so I wouldn’t stress her out more, since she was pregnant. She was big enough that she could have gone into labor any day. But she didn’t. She kept growing larger and larger, and eventually I was able to earn her trust. I think Savannah, my 2 year old, had a lot to do with that. Mind you, I was only supposed to have her for two weeks as I was the emergency foster, but as life has it most of the time, no other rescues or fosters stepped up. I had been taking her temperature for about a week, and on the 15th it finally dropped below 98 degrees and stayed there. May 15th, at about 11 pm, she went into active labor.
She didn’t want to be alone. I was sitting on the couch waiting, and she would come out of her whelping area, and stare at me, then walk back to the whelping area until I got up and went over and sat with her. She was extremely restless, but she would lay down with her head in my lap. It was an incredible bonding experience. At 2:51 am, the first puppy was born. It was a miracle. I’d never mid-wifed puppies. Adelle knew exactly what to do. She broke the amniotic sack and chewed off the umbilical cord. She cleaned the puppy and I had to assist it in nursing. About an hour later, the next puppy was born, and she went through the entire routine again.
Adelle is an amazing mother. Twelve hours later, we had 15 puppies. Can you imagine my surprise! All of them were very healthy and nursing. Adelle was completely exhausted. I had to revive a couple of the puppies and clear their lungs from fluid because of Adelle’s sheer exhaustion.
Around 1:30 pm on the 16th, I decided that Adelle was done. I couldn’t feel any more puppies, and it had been 2 hours since the last one was born. I went to the store to get supplies. I wasn’t prepared for 15 little puppies. When I got back home an hour later, Adelle had had a 16th puppy. It was a shock. Who would have EVER thought Adelle would have had 16 puppies. I mean, she was as large as a house before she delivered, but 16 puppies!
Adelle’s pups are all up for adoption now through Animal Rescue Front in Massachusetts. They are a beautiful mix of breeds, clearly coming from several different fathers, and each one is healthy and affectionate. Anyone interested in adopting one of the pups or Adele may visit Animal Rescue Front’s website here.