Last evening was not really a special evening. After dinner (homemade Fried Chicken, Red Barn Corn and Bean Salad and Fries) Mark stayed in to finish watching his NASCAR race and Toni and I went out to feed.
Crunchie tried to choke himself on his collar in order to get fed first (it works all the time), Kara ran around like a puppy bouncing and barking to hurry us along, Grimmy hung over the 6 foot fence to get a better view of the feeding process, Barq did his patented ‘4 in the air’ jumps, very pregnant Sprite trotted slowly in her pen but still dove into her bowl, Jack SCREAMED at the top of his very ample and well exercised lungs….a evening like any other.
After the bowls were all picked up and the dogs bade ‘goodnight’ Toni headed to the house to shower before retiring to her cabin. Mark and I worked disinfecting the whelping pool and back room for Sprite’s Tuesday due date. I thought of moving her in before we went to bed, but decided to let the backroom dry completely overnight. We watched some TV and then crawled into bed.
Alittle after midnight Cricket and some girls near the ‘top’ of the yard were kicking up a fuss. I listened for a bit before deciding I better drag my butt out of bed to check things out. We had had a stray cat in the yard yesterday morning and I thought maybe he was back or lurking around.
I couldn’t pinpoint the exact problem but did a head count of the whole yard before heading back to the house. Mark had gotten up too and we watched a bit of TV while we made sure everyone was going to settle. The dogs fussed a bit more and I stepped out on the deck to see if I could hear what was up. All I heard was a owl hooting and a few coyotes making noise in the distance. I rounded up the cats and brought them in to see if that helped.
Around 1am I crawled back into bed. Not 15 minutes later the yard was fired up again. When I got out this time it looked like Comet and Smartie may have been exchanging a few words, but I couldn’t see what got them fired up to begin with. I muttered at them and then turned back to the house.
As I was walking to the house I noticed that Sprite hadn’t gotten up to watch the scrap. Sprite LOVES a good scrap, so that seemed odd to me. I called her name and her nose, but no more poked out of her dog house. Hmmm…. I stepped into her kennel and she still didn’t get up to greet me. As I bend down to her dog house door the reason for the unrest in the kennel became instantly obvious – tucked between her front legs was a new addition to the kennel. Sprite’s mouth split open in a big Siberian grin. She was obviously proud of her early and clandestine whelping.
I woke Mark up and lined the whelping pool with blankets while he grabbed a towel and a leash. The cats, just recently invited into the house, were unceremoniously kicked back outside.
When Mark reached in to gather up Sprite’s baby he got more than he bargained for - she was hiding 2 puppies in there!
Everyone got settled quickly into the back room and the pups – a dark red/white boy and a dark black/white girl - were checked over before they latched back onto one of Sprite’s nipples and resumed nursing.
I woke Toni up and she got to witness the birth of a nice dark grey and white girl. She and I stayed up and watched a few episodes of the Discovery channel’s Iditarod series before deciding Sprite was done for good and heading off to sleep.
It’s a quiet house this morning. It’s almost 11 am and Toni hasn’t wandered up from the cabin nor has Mark woken up. The dog yard is quiet – catching up on their lost sleep and enjoying the first really warm morning of spring. Sprite is happily settled in with her 3 lovely children.
All is good! Pictures soon!
Karen L and Mark Ramstead
Iditarod Finishing and Best in Show winning Siberians
"Pretty Sled Dogs"