Bella has her way with us… She has kept on toes ever since she came into our life. I don’t remember sitting down calmly for more than a week. There is always a sense of adventure with her around. Two trips to the vet in the first two weeks of having Bella and then the breaking news happens. So when I found out at Vets office that Bella was close to her delivery date, it all started to make sense. Her docile behavior even though she is a pup, her lethargy, her out of control eating and her peeing so often that every single night she woke me up to take her outside. I quickly called my husband and shared the news and then emailed Liz (Bella’s Rep at GGLRR) . It took only a few minutes for me to hear back from her , a news equally shocking to her as well. In all honesty.. I think we all had panicked. It’s funny how situations change your perspective. I was moaning and getting upset about how I feel cruel to be spaying my dog, like i am taking away her body parts when she gets spayed and next I know I was feeling ..OMG, once this is over spaying is the way to go. Amidst all that was happening I just knew one thing. Bella was going to have her puppies here at home cos nothing is worth risking her life and that she isn’t going anywhere. A lot of people asked me why we did what we did. Well you don’t turn away a family member just because they are sick and whatever happens, I was going to make sure Bella is safe with us. I have to give a LOT of credit to GGLRR folks. When I spoke to Liz and after we all understood the impact of this news she offered to find a foster to take care of Bella and the pups for the next three months. She asked me to talk to my husband and decide what we wished to do. Talking to Vishy made our decision even simpler and easy. He is an awesome person esp when it comes to supporting me. He told me to go ahead and do what I thought was best for Bella and so we took the BIG decision to do whatever it takes to make sure Bella and her pups have a family behind them. That decision made it easy for us to proceed. Few things had to be taken care of first. Her diet had to change. We switched to puppy food. We went from diet control to her bowl being never empty. Exercise was limited to slow placed walks and honestly I was worried if I will need to call someone from the roadside if she starts delivering there…(yeah shows how little experience we had for the undertaking we were going for.) While the rescue started putting things together at their end we were able to rekindle a friendship from school days. Vishy’s friend from school and his wife were big contributors to rescuing labs in Houston. So we were able to reach out to them and talk. Anu has had a ton of experience doing something she is amazing at – rescue dogs. She spent a good amount of time guiding us and sharing her experience that she has gathered rescuing dogs. She was such an immense positive assurance that helped us take this big step forward. In a few days Liz and her husband Jim put together a whelping setup for Bella. Idea was to make Bella comfortable there so the puppies are born in the safety of the home and are contained in a smaller area. We cleaned out our dining area and setup the whelping stuff there. That way the pups stay warm inside the home and we can keep an eye on them. Bella meanwhile had other plans…she started nesting in all weird places in the backyard. She was digging and making herself comfy in a dark spot under the backyard steps where its cold and wet. We literally had to drag her out so we don’t have to worry about how to keep the pups safe from predators and cold and rain. She then started finding a comfy spot in my closet.. OMG..Imagine what would have happened to my clothes if the pups decided to play there..:). Then the wait began. I was in constant touch with Stacy while all this was going on. I have a ton of respect for Bella’s foster mom and she has been my constant support thru this journey. I also know she enjoys hearing updates about Bella and she makes time to help me out in all ways possible.. Meanwhile Liz(The rockstar woman of GGLRR) introduced me to the “Doggy Doula” as Elizabeth likes to call herself :). The process of making Bella comfortable with Elizabeth began as we need to be prepared with everything to help Bella out and honestly I had no clue what I was doing except that my maternal instincts kicked in overtime. Meanwhile everyone had started betting on when Bella would deliver. To say the least, I lost the bet big time. :)) The night of March 23rd was the hardest. Bella was ready , hiding in dark places, very uncomfortable, not eating and nothing we did…. helped. I stayed up almost all night her rubbing her belly and comforting her. I took a short nap during which Bella decided to make a mess on my rugs but on the grand scheme of things, nothing matters when u see tiny puppies that came after that ordeal. On the fateful morning on March 24th, exactly one month after Bella came to our home, the fun began. At 11.15 AM with us and Elizabeth at her side, Bella had her first pup. We had the notes ready to keep track of puppies. To keep track of unique marking on the pups and to be able to distinguish who came when. Funny thing was all of Bella’s pups are Jet black. Not a single marking on any of them. What I found out when the first puppy came was that mother dogs eat the sac the pups are in and lick the pups clean including nibbling the umbilical cord away. That also stimulates the breathing process and helps mom and pup bond. One after the other the pups started coming out. Sometimes the wait was longer and sometimes shorter. We were told there would be 7/8 pups and when the 9th one showed… we though Bella was done. From looking like a BIG HOTDOG she was all skinny and boney. So we decided to take her to the backyard so she can go do her business now that all pups were here. Just as we got to the backyard, Bella started going around in circles and I saw another sac showing up. Right before the puppy came out I was there to save the fall and hold the puppy in my bare hands while Elizabeth came running with a towel from inside. That’s the story of the Bella’s 10th pup:). Something I will enjoy telling the generations to come :). My sister joked if Bella was getting ready to prepare her own cricket team.. And who knew by 5.30 that evening we went from 1 dog to 13 at home. All 12 of Bella’s puppies were alive, healthy and cuddling with their mom. Bella was doing a fabulous job nursing them, and taking care of them. For me..the work had just started. 🙂 The adventures of these little pups and Bella’s behavior change … in my next blog. For more images from this adventure check here: