The phone rang… I said to myself “I just want to go home, really,” sighed, and picked up. It had been a long day, and I wasn’t feeling the best, body tired to the bones, aching for a hot bath, home and rest. I put on a cheerful face. Funny how you always feel better when you do that!
“Hello, it’s Dr edward here, how can I help?” I asked.
“I’ve got a dog having puppies – she’s had three, and shes still contracting, but not much is happening, and she seems really distressed. I know it’s late in the afternoon, but can you come?”
I could see there was no way out of this one… The dog really needed some help! I got the address, and turned away from my path home, threaded through the streets, and finally pulled up outside one of the generic fibreboard houses in one of the older suburbs of Townsville. I took a deep breath, grabbed my bag and stethoscope, and made my way up the steps. They must have been watching for me, because the door popped open to reveal several worried faces- mum and some kids.
“Come in, come in – she’s in the bedroom up here.”
I was ushered through a tangle of kids toys, baskets of washing, the chaos of a family home. I went gently and slowly, because I know dogs can be a bit funny when they have new puppies.
“She’s a red nosed staffie, she’s always been a bit nervous, but she’s really distressed right now…”
I paused at the door. She was a big dog, a pit bull terrier for sure, muscled like a gym junky, must have weighed at least 30kg. I was careful not to make eye contact. She was restless, eyes dilated, in a state of high arousal, and I knew that if I made the wrong move, there was every chance she could be aggressive. So I settled down on my haunches at the door, averted my gaze, and started to hold a healing space, surrounding her with colour energy to sooth and ground her a little.
“I just need to go gently here,” I explained. “She’s freaking out a bit, so I need to let her get a bit used to me, and go slowly. I’m using some healing energy to help her calm down and settle a bit.”
“Oh yes- I’ve heard of that Reiki stuff,” the lady told me. “She hasn’t even fed the first three pups yet. She just won’t lie down, and she seems not to know what to do with them?”
“First time mums can be a bit like this,” I explained. “Here – could you drop a few drops of this on her please? It’s rescue remedy, it will help calm her as well.”
She took the dropper and blessed her dog with three drops. All the time I had been gently helping the dog on an energy level, bringing all her energy back together, helping her gather herself, soothing, calming. She had settled a bit, her eyes didn’t look quite so frantic, her respiration rate had slowed a bit, and her frantic pacing settled down too. I decided it was time to introduce myself, and gently held out the back of my hand – no direct eye contact, and after a bit, she actually gave my hand a sniff, and relaxed even more. All the while, the puppies were wriggling away, squeaking with hunger. There was certainly nothing wrong with them! I started to scratch her under the chin, and as she relaxed more and more, then stroked and massaged her body. She started to lean on me a little, as more and more of the frantic tension left her body. She took some interest in her pups, started to nose at them, gave them a lick, then finally relaxed enough to sit down. She still jumped a bit every time a contraction rippled through her body, but settled more and more as I kept massaging, running the healing energy through my hands into her body, using colours energetically, holding space for healing to occur within.
Then, finally, she took a big deep sigh and lay down. The puppies wriggled and whimpered their way to her breast, and latched on, sucking like mad. Contractions still clenched through her body, and started to become more quickly. I kept a calming hand on her back.
“Wow!” the lady said. “That’s almost miraculous… Look at the difference in her!”
“She was just freaking out – it is all pretty strange and new. Now the pups are suckling, it will release oxytocin, which will strengthen the contractions, and help her get the rest of them out.”
The contractions really picked up, and she got to her feet again. We had to rescue the little pups from under her feet, and then another pup slid out, all in a rush, still in its shiny sack. She licked and licked, broke the sack, ate all the membranes, and licked the puppy clean all over. She settled down again quite quickly, and let the puppies feed. She still looked a bit surprised, but much more settled. I stayed with them while she popped out another 4 puppies. Way past my dinner time, by then, and though I was tired, the puppy smell wriggling blessing of new life brought a smile to my face, all the same.
“I think she’s probably done,” I told them all – the kids were watching from the doorway, too. “Keep an eye on her, and if she starts vomiting, or drinking lots of water, or seems unwell, please give me a ring.”
I left them all, and went home. With a smile on my face!