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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The vet just confirmed it today via x-ray: there are 5 - 6 puppies inside my Linney girl, an Alaskan Husky I recently bought from a mushing kennel. She has only been here 3 weeks, so I want to stress that it DID NOT HAPPEN HERE! She was pregnant but not showing when I purchased her and brought her home. She was likely mated while she was in Alaska running as a tour dog - her puppies are most likely "purebred" Alaskan Huskies.

She is due in 5 - 14 days - so I am scrambling to get myself and my home prepared. It is too late for an emergency spay, so I am not considering that at all.

Needless to say, I am a little freaked out (and secretly maybe a LITTLE excited), and doing everything I can to prepare for these pups' arrival. I have never really read much about whelping or canine pregnancy, so I've been reading all of Myra Savant-Harris' books. If anyone has any other suggestions for books to read, that would be SUPER helpful! We are busily preparing the whelping area in our sunroom and ordering supplies.

For those of you who know me, you know that I will handle this "surprise" responsibly, including care of the mother, care of the pups and of course, placement of the puppies. If they are Alaskan Husky pups, my goal would be to place them in responsible, recreational mushing homes or a similar working environment.

My mentor in the mushing world is going to help me with the whelping, as well as one of the vet techs who happens to show and breed Boxers. She lives literally 2 minutes up the street. My vet is also on call 24/7 to help give Linney the best possible care in case of any emergency.

This is definitely going to be a new experience for me. I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up that there will definitely be lots of photos coming as she nears her due date and of course, after the pups arrive!

Here is a photo of the expecting momma - first photo is the day I first met her and agreed to buy her. Second photo was taken this weekend in my living room.



Another pic - she's such a happy-go-lucky girl.



And now I will sit back and prepare myself for the onslaught that happens on DF whenever puppies are mentioned. :) I just know there's many of you on here who would be interested in this update and seeing photos as the puppies develop and grow.
 

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Sweet lord, good luck! You've been around long enough that I'm positive you'll do right by these puppies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Xeph for the vote of confidence, and especially the good luck - I am definitely going to need it!
 

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Don't forget to by a decently sized food scale from Walmart xD!!!
 

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Oh my gosh, I can't imagine the surprise. "Linney, why do you look fat? Haven't you been pulling a sled for the past three weeks?" Congratulations. :D

How will you tell if they are Alaskan Huskies?
 

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Is it common for Alaskan Huskies not to be specifically bred to a particular male, just whatever males tags her, or was this an unusual occurance among mushing Huskies?

Oh, I can't wait to see pictures! Good thing for you she isn't going to have a dozen! 5-6 will be enough to keep you busy for a while, I think ;) .
 

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Oh goodness, what kind of breeder did you get her from exactly??

I imagine that it was quite a shock finding out she was pregnant, especially since you have so little time to prepare! I'm sure there are breeders here that will give you some advice on raising a litter, good luck with the pups and I look forward to seeing lots and LOTS of puppy pictures! (Hint hint!) Lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LOL! Thankfully I have a great scale here already - I own both a big food scale (I use it to portion out my dogs' raw diet) and a huge honkin' veterinary scale since my doggers get weighed weekly during the sledding season.

Reagan, you have no idea the contortions my mind when through when I realized what was going on. I kept saying to Linney in a sing-song voice, "Haha Linney, you are so chubby, you look like a goat. Ha ha ha!" LOL! Who would've guessed!? When her nipples started protruding I just KNEW. Then came the day when I felt her belly and felt puppies kicking.

You hit the nail on the head when you said "How will you tell?"

First off, I know for a fact that until October 1, Linney was in Alaska, in the middle of nowhere running tours with a large group of intact Alaskans. That puts my money on an Alaskan father. There aren't exactly tons of strays running around unpopulated Alaska. After that point, she was in the Upper Peninsula in a sleddog kennel that is set up in such a way that the ONLY males who potentially had access, if she was bred there, were other working sled dogs.

The variation in Alaskan Huskies is sooo huge that it will be VERY hard to tell at first. But, I know the general "type" of all the sled dogs that were sent to Alaska for touring with Linney; I spent an entire weekend at their kennel, studying the dogs and learning about their bloodlines. I expect them to look like mid-distance or distance mushing pups - well-furred, most likely prick eared, straight-backed with a long sloped croup.

I'm hoping it will be fairly obvious by the time they are ready to be advertised and placed in new homes. Time will tell!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Is it common for Alaskan Huskies not to be specifically bred to a particular male, just whatever males tags her, or was this an unusual occurance among mushing Huskies?
This is HIGHLY unusual, in my experience hanging around sleddog kennels. Of course, there are always those bad apples who let dogs breed willy-nilly. Usually, litters of Alaskan Huskies are carefully planned and thought out just like any other reputable breeder would.

Oh goodness, what kind of breeder did you get her from exactly??
Actually, she came from an extremely reputable, honest mushing kennel that raises dogs for distance racing and tours. You have to understand that, as far as I can possibly tell, Linney was probably not in their possession when she was bred. According to how far along she is, it happened while she was being LEASED to another kennel to run summer tours in Alaska. So the "blame" would rest solely on the touring company that leased her.

That being said - this is a much different situation than buying a puppy from a show breeder. We're talking a professional working kennel with paid staff and handlers, that manages a full-time touring operation. Linney was one of many tour dogs (extremely WELL cared for and loved, I might add) who were being "retired" and sold to other mushers.

The working dog world, and in particular the mushing world, is a whole different ballgame than buying a pup from a show breeder... but that said, I am still very particular who I would feel comfortable buying a dog from. Let me just say that I am still VERY comfortable with buying a dog from this kennel and wouldn't hesitate to do so again. I have never seen such a conscientious, reputable sleddog operation, and that's the truth.
 

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It seems to me that a touring operation like that would want to spay the females, at least. Just to prevent trouble, especially since the dogs are out of their control a lot of the time.
 

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How exciting and scary! lol! Have you spoken with the mushing kennel that sold her to you about the pregnancy? I'm just curious to see their take on it!

I hope the pups all get snatched up quick -- or else I'll be on my way west to find you, ha! I've been offered two dogs in my first month of training -- an experienced 3-year-old and a 3-month-old pup. It's making it VERY hard to hold out for my dream pup next spring. I think I need to start looking at a bigger house with more property. XD
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It seems to me that a touring operation like that would want to spay the females, at least. Just to prevent trouble, especially since the dogs are out of their control a lot of the time.
In addition to touring, their dogs also race Iditarod as well as longer mid-distance races in the Midwest. Their bloodlines ARE valuable to the mushing community, and they DO spay and neuter the dogs that don't "make the cut". I can't speak for why certain dogs are spayed and others are intact, but I do trust their judgment as they are a very responsible operation whose dogs are well-known as some of the best bloodlines in the Midwest.

Jess, I've emailed them now that I know it is a certainty. I'm sure we'll be talking over the next few days. And yes, excting and scary pretty much describes it!

Wow - you've been offered two dogs already? That's awesome, the mushers must really like you! :D :D Experienced dogs are worth their weight in gold. Puppies are fun but the experienced, veteran dogs are where it's at! I don't know what I'd do without Linney and my two Iditarod veterans, Martha and Hoover. They are amazing athletes.

And of course if you find you're out in the Midwest for whatever reason, you'd always be more than welcome to stop over and visit the pups and the rest of the crew. :)
 

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I think this is an instance where it's appropriate to give a sincere "yay, puppies!" :D
Eh. "Yay puppies!" for Nekomi, yes. But I do think it was irresponsible of the kennel to have an accidental pregnancy in the first place, and to place an unspayed (and pregnant!) dog in a recreational home. So I can't be too thrilled. I'm glad they'll be born in a responsible home, for sure.
 

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Wow - you've been offered two dogs already? That's awesome, the mushers must really like you! :D :D Experienced dogs are worth their weight in gold. Puppies are fun but the experienced, veteran dogs are where it's at! I don't know what I'd do without Linney and my two Iditarod veterans, Martha and Hoover. They are amazing athletes.

And of course if you find you're out in the Midwest for whatever reason, you'd always be more than welcome to stop over and visit the pups and the rest of the crew. :)
They're so friendly and so eager to get me more dogs, haha! Also, I think many of the mushers I've met are at full dog capacity -- so any dogs that are for sale or in need of a home get thrown at me. I think my plan is to continue training Dex, along with my new pup next year. Then, by the time they sort of know what they're doing, I'll hopefully be in a position to take on some more dogs. I'm thinking my third will be an experienced dog (if I can get one, of course) and my fourth will be a rescue. But that's years down the road... I think. ;)

And I'm fairly certain our paths will cross at some point. We crazy dog-mushing ladies need to stick together :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I think this is an instance where it's appropriate to give a sincere "yay, puppies!"
Aww, why thank you Sassafrass! :) It is hard to be excited when you're the one building the whelping box at the last minute and ordering crazy amounts of Ebsilac, Calsorb, NutraStat and latex gloves. But, secretly I'm looking forward to learning about whelping and the early care of pups. :) And I know they are going to be adorable!!

As an update, I just heard back from the kennel. They agreed that according to her due date, it happened while she was in Alaska. They are talking to the kennel who had her during that time to try and get more information and narrow down who the father would be, but they agree that it's likely another working dog. They did say that she is unrelated to any of the other dogs that were there, so that's good news.

They also offered to take the puppies back and place them if I wanted to go that route. That is probably not something I'd be interested in doing, but they are stepping up to the plate. They are doing everything I expect a reputable mushing operation to do... so that's good news!

They're so friendly and so eager to get me more dogs, haha! Also, I think many of the mushers I've met are at full dog capacity -- so any dogs that are for sale or in need of a home get thrown at me. I think my plan is to continue training Dex, along with my new pup next year. Then, by the time they sort of know what they're doing, I'll hopefully be in a position to take on some more dogs. I'm thinking my third will be an experienced dog (if I can get one, of course) and my fourth will be a rescue. But that's years down the road... I think.
LOL! You sound juuuust like me. :) My advice is, do what you need to do to accomplish your goals. No more, no less. I have never regretted adding a dog to my household. Especially in the case of these experienced sleddogs, I honestly don't know how I stayed in the sport without them.

It's good that you have a plan in mind and you know where you want to go in the sport. Are you thinking recreational, sprint racing, mid-distance, camping...?

And I'm fairly certain our paths will cross at some point. We crazy dog-mushing ladies need to stick together
Yes, I think so too! :) It's funny because that is exactly what my friend Shannon says to me all the time. ;)
 

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Eh. "Yay puppies!" for Nekomi, yes. But I do think it was irresponsible of the kennel to have an accidental pregnancy in the first place, and to place an unspayed (and pregnant!) dog in a recreational home. So I can't be too thrilled. I'm glad they'll be born in a responsible home, for sure.
I agree with Willowy, I'm glad these pups are being raised in a good home with Nekomi and will probably find wonderful homes, but I have a hard time understanding why the standards for what's "responsible" or even "acceptible" with Alaskan Husky kennels are so different. If you're a show breeder and you breed without health testing, you're unacceptable, but apparently for Alaskan Huskies it's fine to let an intact female in heat go off with a bunch of strange, intact male dogs, get bred with a mystery dog and then come back and sell her to an unsuspecting buyer while pregnant? It's great that they'd be willing to take the puppies back and place them, but so many things could have been done to prevent this. I guess you can support what you want to support.
 

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I somehow missed that you even got another dog! And now she's going to have puppies, that's so exciting! I know you'll do a wonderful job with them. Hey if you keep all of them you'll have your own full sled team! :p
 
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