I love this girl so much! She has been the cornerstone of my dreams. Little did I know that when I was rescuing her from a terrible puppyhood, that she would rescue me from my lost hopes and visions of a bleak future. She rebuilt my dreams and gave me hope. Freya gave me my dreams back, and spawned a whole new vision of the future. Not only is she very intelligent, she has also taught me a lot about what I know and didn't know about dogs, how they think, and why they do what they do. As a thirty-plus year dog owner, I had thought I knew most all there was to know about dogs. Freya taught me I still had a lot to learn.
But she is a dog with doggy wants and doggy needs (things we as humans need to keep in mind, as they are not the same as our wants and needs), and she is very pregnant. Tomorrow she goes in for an x-ray to see how many puppies she is probably going to have. I believe this is a good practice for any bred dog, as it gives you a close approximation of how many puppies she has in her. That way you know that if she hasn't given birth to them all and has been over two hours since the last, there could be something wrong and if you don't know what, she needs to go to the clinic ASAP. This could save the dog and puppies their lives.
Last night, though, she started panting heavily for no apparent reason, which usually means she's had a contraction, and has started labor (at least for other dogs I've had). I checked her over carefully, but she did not show any signs of lactating, contractions or dialating, just heavy panting. I laid on the floor next to her for some time, simply petting and reassuring her. She was stressing, but soon began to relax. I remember the first litter she had, and remember she had exhibited some very odd behaviors then too. She is so needy of attention during this time, totally dependant and completely vulnerable. I simply hugged and petted her for nearly an hour, laying on the floor next to her. She slept deeply and soundly after that and woke up much more playful and energetic this morning.
Sometimes dogs just need a hug too.