Bayonet’s Final Litter


There are a lot of wonderful things about a delivery with a mama who has delivered before: you know their funny little traits, you’ve previously seen the way they transition and labor, and you’ve developed a bond from having been a team before.  As Bayonet prepared for her final delivery before becoming a retired Dachshund, I was far less nervous than I usually am.  After having delivered 4 previous litters with Bay, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.  Or so I thought.

On the morning of February 24, I knew Bayonet was in labor.  Besides her occasional nesting under the blankets at my feet, she woke me up at about 4 AM wanting outside to potty and spent some time sleeping up by my head whimpering.  Bay has a history of taking a very long time to progress to actual labor and then suddenly ramping up all at once- usually when I’m not around!  On two separate occasions, she has waited until I wasn’t around to enter the final stage of labor!  I spent the day watching and observing her and at dinner, knew we were getting close.  Sure enough, about an hour later, we were ready to start pushing.

When Bayonet pushes, she makes this AWFUL noise that we call a “hurk” because that’s exactly what it sounds like.  She makes a couple loud frightening HUUURRRRKKK noises and within two or three of accompanying pushes, we have a puppy.  This time we had green discharge.  That is not always a bad thing, but it starts a clock.  If there is still no puppy in 4 hours, the vet will have to intervene.  If there isn’t one in two hours, we make a phone call to get them on standby.  And because I had been through this previously with Bay, I knew something was off.  When there was still no puppy at the one hour point, in spite of repeated hurk noises, I started to worry.  With as many rough deliveries as I have had in the last year, I worry that I am being paranoid and jumping the gun so I tried to wait out the two hour clock.  I began to pray even harder for a safe delivery for both Bay and her puppies and that God would be glorified through it.  But at an hour and a half, we were loading her in the laundry basket for transport.  Her contractions had lightened up and were getting further apart and I knew we were not progressing at all.

After taking her in for ultrasound, the emergency vet called and gave me the devastating news that the ultrasound showed 1 puppy with a heart rate of about half and that the remaining puppies were deceased.  I was gutted.  A retired Dachshund that you have gone through the years with is hard to say goodbye to, but to end on such a crushing note was even worse.  I authorized him to do what he needed to do but to please be sure that the pups were available for me to footprint and gather data for my records. 

A short 30 minutes after making that authorization, the vet called back to inform me that Bay had handled surgery well and was officially a retired Dachshund but miraculously, they had managed to resuscitate and save ALL of the puppies!  I can’t even begin to describe the disbelief!  He did caution me that there had been many issues.  One of the puppies had grown in an odd position and was severely disfigured from being bent sideways blocking the exit and that while she was alive, he wasn’t sure that she’d live long.  He also said that somehow one of Bay’s horns (their uterus is U shaped and each side is called a horn) had gotten back behind Bay’s kidneys and a puppy (the biggest) had grown back there.  He said when they went to remove the puppy, it tore her uterus in half thus necessitating the need to spay her at the time of surgery.  While the situation was less than ideal, it was a relief to me that Bay would be a retired Dachshund without the need for a second surgery.  I retrieved Mom and all three babies and took them home.  But our adventure was not over.

On the forty minute drive home, I noted that Bayonet was not acting like any other mama I have ever had after their c-section.  I called the vet and they assured me she had pain meds on board and suggested that perhaps it was just due to the complicated spay that went along with the c-section.  But as I have written about previously, I have had mamas with complicated spays that didn’t act nearly as concerning as Bayonet was acting.  Nonetheless, I continued home with her and settled her in while I weighed and printed puppies.  I noted that our twisted pup was much more severely disfigured than I could ever have imagined, weighed only 4 ounces, and that her breathing was rapid, shallow, and that she was squeaking in pain with every breath.  A half an hour after being home, Bay’s unresponsiveness had gotten more noticeable and she was shaking badly.  Combined with those symptoms, she was passing a dark green sludge.  I had given her a double dose of Doc Roy’s B Strong (a B vitamin, mineral, and iron supplement) and I still saw nothing encouraging.  I called the vet back, loaded Bay and puppies up, and headed back in.

To make a long story slightly shorter, Bayonet spent the night at the vet with her puppies.  In the morning, they informed me that she’d had a bad reaction to the meds that she’d gotten but that she would be just fine.  All three puppies were still alive and the two biggest had started latching and nursing.  Little Twist hadn’t nursed all night but was still fighting.  At that point, I made the call for her to be euthanized as we discussed her quality of life should she somehow survive.  Letting go is never easy, but there is no doubt in my mind that Twist is in a far better place. 

Our newest retired Dachshund and her sweet babies are doing well and thriving.  The entire litter was again female wrapping up Bay’s career stats with 5 boys and 11 girls.  She has been an amazing little mama and we are happy for her as she prepares for her new life being a spoiled princess with our bonus daughter and her husband.

Most of my retired Dachshunds are requested in advance and Bayonet is no exception.  It is rare for me to have a mama that someone hasn’t requested and if I do, it’s because of a tragic early retirement that we were not prepared for.  If a retired mama is something you are interested in, please be sure to reach out.

I’m looking for a dachshund stud


I frequently have people reach out to me looking for a Dachshund stud so they can have a litter with their girl who they love so much.  I totally understand that and do not believe that it is up to me to tell people what they can and can’t do with their dogs.  However, I do encourage them to educate themselves and be prepared!

I recently had someone reach out to me wanting to use one of my studs.  They had a darling red smooth coat who isn’t registered and were interested in using Titan as they were (I’m sure) envisioning litters of puppies that looked like him too!  We had a conversation about genetics and I informed them that without genetic testing, it would be better to use my Ammo.  Reds hide dapple and with red being dominant, the likelihood of Titan giving them anything but red with possible hidden dapple was too high to make it worth it. 

When they arrived at my home, they came in asking about emergency c-section as they had met with their vet prior and been warned.  I told them that it is ALWAYS a possibility and they assured me that they were prepared for it just to be safe.  Once I saw their girl in person, I knew that Ammo was the only option as she was much too small for Titan!  I assured them that the likelihood was all red smooth coat babies (unless we ran DNA testing) and they fell in love with my golden boy and the decision was made for the Dachshund stud they were going to use.  A contract was drawn up, and with the help of Marvin Gaye, the deed was done.

Just One Litter – It’ll Be Fun!!!

Being dutiful and conscientious people, they asked for my recommendations on food and supplements and worked hard to get things ready in advance for the big day.  As they day drew nearer, they reached out to me asking if I would be willing to assist in the labor process.  Of course I was more than happy to assure them that I would be available for them.  When the time came, they called me as active labor was starting and I headed down to their home.  Mama Ginger knew that I was there for her support and even jumped into my lap for part of the labor process!


For the sake of time, I will summarize the events of that day.  What should have been a 3-4 hour delivery turned into a 19 hour day at their house.  Mama Ginger struggled with staying in active labor, even with supplemental calcium on board, and we wound up transporting her to make sure heartbeats were strong and there wasn’t a puppy in the way that was too big.  The vet confirmed all was ok, mom was still low on calcium, and that as I had expected, Mom needed oxytocin and when she still hadn’t produced a pup after a couple more hours, they did the c-section.  Two of the pups were doing great post surgery, however one was “iffy” and the 4th was not doing well at all.  However, the vet did manage to bring us four puppies to take home!  I traveled home with them and helped them get settled.  I got 3 of the 4 puppies latching, gave them all some colostrum supplement, and told them to keep their eye on the 4th (little green collared) puppy and to keep trying to get her to latch on.

Now here is something worth noting!  ALL FOUR of those babies were born dappled!  Mama Ginger was a hidden dapple and that is exactly why I discourage using a dapple Dachshund stud if you don’t know the mom’s pedigree/dna!  If we had been able to use Titan, those babies would have been born double dapple and could have been deaf and blind as a result.

I left that night, after a 19 hour day, fully expecting little green collar to not survive the night.  She was weak and listless and after the vet’s report, it seemed pretty bleak.  You can imagine my surprise the next morning when I was texted that little green, after regular colostrum doses, was still alive!  I made a trip down to teach them how to syringe feed (Green was still strong enough that she did fine with it).  After two days of syringe feeding, they now had 4 puppies who were latching and feeding themselves!  Of course at this point, it was time for a new challenge!

About this time, the other littlest pup (the only boy in the litter) decided he was done nursing.  He declined rapidly (5 oz babies at birth don’t have a lot of wiggle room for dropping weight) so I rushed down there to teach them how to tube feed.  Unfortunately, it became clear that I was going to need to be the one to tube feed him!  Up to this point, I have not had a lot of experience tube feeding puppies.  I have only had two puppies that I tube fed and neither of them survived (both were too near gone before I started).  Tube feeding stresses me out and I am terrified of doing it wrong.  But it was either that, or our little Buddy wasn’t going to make it.  I would tube feed him, drive the 15 miles home, spend two hours trying to sleep/care for my dogs and family, then drive the 15 miles back to their house to tube feed him again.  I did this for two and a half days.  But little Buddy was gaining and hanging in there, so I wasn’t going to let him down!!!

Of course if that wasn’t enough, Ginger developed an infection from her surgery which resulted in a fever and slight dehydration.  A trip to the vet resulted in antibiotics and some anti-nausea medication.  Thankfully, little Green and her sisters were all still nursing and thriving!

After two and a half days of tube feeding little Buddy (with one night spent on their couch so as to save the extra drive time for resting), I had to make a trip out of town to pick up a Dachshund stud from a job and to see my son who had just celebrated a birthday.  It was arranged that their local vet would handle the tube feeding for the two feedings that I was going to miss.  He was SO close to trying to suck but still just didn’t have the strength, but miraculously, by the time I got back he was latching on with help!  And by the time it was bedtime, finding it and doing it on his own!  Of course he still required heavy monitoring, but now this litter of babies is 8 days old and all 4 are thriving!  Mama Ginger is doing great and us humans are almost feeling human again!

I heard a lot of “these aren’t your puppies…” and “you’re not responsible” from outsiders looking in but this is what I have to say about that:  This isn’t my dog.  These AREN’T my puppies.  But my Dachshund stud was used and that makes me just as much responsible for bringing these lives into the world as anybody else.  This is no different to me than people!  If a man fathers a child, it is his duty to make sure that child is cared for whether it was his choosing to create it or not!  My Dachshund stud isn’t capable of even being aware they exist and are his – let alone caring for them!  So that puts the burden on ME!  This is a role that I cherish and am honored to be able to do and I take this job VERY seriously. Believe it or not, I am so grateful and appreciative for this experience as it gave me LOTS of successful experience tube feeding and boosted my overall confidence in why I continue to do what I love in spite of the heartache and frustrations.

This is not a common experience for people who want to have “just one litter” but this isn’t a worst case scenario either!  This was a VERY happy ending!  Sometimes we get lucky and everything is smooth sailing from the get go.  But you need to educate yourself and be prepared for every eventuality!  Having puppies absolutely can be fun – but it’s not all fun and games.  There is a lot of hard work that goes into getting those babies to be fun!!!