This long weekend has been nothing short of miraculous in Derbyshire.
As some of you know Lana was mated in August. Everything with the mating was text book and was a positive experience for both Lana and her beau.
As the weeks progressed every single sign told us she was in whelp, which is why our hearts sank when we looked at Dominie’s screen on day 29 as what can only be described as peering into an empty abyss. Not one sign of life or even a change in gradient or colour from one side of the monitor to the other.
In disbelief, we pregnancy tested her again to get a negative result. A period of readjustment, re-focussing and what felt like mourning commenced, this may sound dramatic to some, but is an honest account, nonetheless.
John and Jane visited with Lana two weeks later and Lana seemed, as so many often do, to be fully indulged in a phantom pregnancy. And two more weekends later, as this was the weekend we were all hoping to whelp her litter, Jane and I decided to keep the time we had both booked off work and all spend the time together to try and find something nice to do, and stop ourselves thinking of what should be happening.
On Friday morning we planned a walk with Lana and her some of her family and friends here. Luckily Jane decided to mention that as Lana had woken up she had passed what seemed like a combination of wee and some clear discharge. This to me seemed like a bitch whose waters had broken, and my initial thought was how could a bitch fake waters breaking as part of a phantom (she was, after all, on day 60). I decided to call a friend, Janet Larkin, who has been nothing short of brilliant since the day I met her 18 months ago, providing invaluable knowledge from her veterinary nurse training and experience as a breeder. Talking through my thoughts it swiftly became clear Lana should see a vet.
The brilliant practice, Blenheim Veterinary who I’m so lucky to call my vets, made space immediately in their back to back appointments for Sarah to see Lana. As soon as she put her hands on her she could feel something. We progressed into the darkened scanning room, lubed Lana’s tummy and faced towards the screen. A backbone was immediately visible, followed by a strong, regular heart beat! A miracle!
We looked for more puppies through the 2 dimensions of the scanner and as if to make sure and probably to reconfirm what our eyes had just seen, asked for an x-ray. A single puppy, who Sarah noted appeared very large, was confirmed.
Stunned, excited, confused, elated and now with a whole new set of emotions to manage, we left the vet and came home. We called the sire’s owner and tried to comprehend how brilliantly Lana had kept her secret for 60 days. And we marveled at how her master plan had been played out.
A weekend of reading, thinking, talking and weighting up our options to ensure the best outcome commenced, and with the help of the sire’s owner, breeder, and with Jo Pyke volunteering a back up surrogate mother/litter on standby, we decided an elective c-section on Monday morning was the way forward.
Lana, with just a solo puppy in her uterus, was clearly lacking the full blown stimulation to go into labour, but with her plug removed and a potential very large puppy and now at day 63, our minds were made up.
Yesterday morning we welcomed the arrival of a thriving correct boy who has won a village of peoples’ hearts and minds in 24 short hours.
Lana is slow to bond with him, but has allowed him to feed occasionally and to his delight have a wonderful explore over his mummy’s tummy.
We know the road ahead might have bumps, but we’re so grateful for the gift of this beautiful soul, so please join myself, Jane, John, Lisa and Sharon to welcome Lana and Elvis’s miracle son.
Ch Sonstraal's Chocolate Storm JW, ShCM x Colkeririn Indigo Lightly at Lonaza