Today I promised to tell you the story of my sons Chihuahua, Africa and her pup Lily. Africa is a 5 year old female Chihuahua and the most delightful well behaved, never yappy doggy I have known. She is highly intelligent, demure and she even "sighs" when she is fed up or wanting some attention. Personally, I have always preferred larger dogs having owned Standard Poodles as family pets when the children were younger. However, getting to know Africa has completely changed my opinion of such small dogs, Chihuahuas in particular. Not only is she unobtrusive and well behaved, Africa is very "user" friendly, you can walk her, (her little legs go 20 to the dozen), or carry her if you need to as she only weighs 5kg. Africa takes up no room in the house and no room in the car. The only annoying trait that Africa has is "burrowing" she will burrow under any duvet, sofa throw or pillow that is left around. In retrospect I think this is due to her being distantly related to those little Mexican foxes, at least that's my theory!
Late last year when my son and Africa were visiting, I noticed that Africa seemed to be putting on a bit of weight, and commented to my son about it. He said it was nothing to worry about, saying she had been eating a bit more than normal and that's probably why. Over the ensuing weeks Africa seemed to still have a bit too much weight but not enough that we were worried about it. I did mention to my son, was there any chance she could be pregnant and he said no and commented she has in the past had a phantom pregnancy so maybe this is the same thing again.
Africa was healthy and happy and so we continued to keep an eye on her but nothing changed until one evening 3 months later my son came to stay the night. Africa was sitting on my lap and I felt a lump on one side of her. The lump seemed rather large and, I immediately felt concerned. my son came over to inspect her, she seemed blase about it and was quite happy with us inspecting the lump when suddenly my son said, "Mum its moving". I felt with my hand again and sure enough there seemed to be movement. I suggested immediately she might be pregnant but he said the only male dog she had been near was his friends Maltese/Silky cross which had been neutered recently. I said do you think there is a chance that they snuck off to the bedroom at some point before he was neutered but he said, no we always watched them. Having had dogs and pups of my own before I knew that it didn't take long for things to happen and when the boys were busy chatting out on the deck Africa and Rusty could easily have snuck off on their own. I was very concerned about the lump and what it might be so we discussed as it was a weekend that on Monday we would take her to the Vet.
The following morning I was woken up by my son banging on my bedroom door saying there was something seriously wrong with Africa and he was very worried about her. I quickly got up and saw that she was indeed in a bit of distress, my son felt she was having trouble trying to go to the toilet when he had let her outside but I had other thoughts in mind like "was she in labour!". We quickly bundled her into the car and raced off to the emergency vet as it was a weekend and her regular vet was closed.
We arrived at the Veterinary Surgery with Africa still looking as if she was straining and we mentioned this immediately to the girl behind the desk who said, please take a seat the vet wont be long. A few minutes later we were in the vets office and she was inspecting Africa. She said she is most definitely giving birth come and look here is the puppy's tongue and sure enough there was a little nose and tongue poking out! We were so surprised. The vet told us that as Africa was small and the father was larger (most obviously now Rusty the Maltese/silky cross was the culprit) that she may have to have a cesarean as the puppy seemed to be lodged and if they didn't do one immediately we could loose the puppy and put her at risk.
The vet suggested we sign a form for her cesarean and pay a deposit of $1,500 for half of the $3,000 cost of the cesarean! Gosh I thought but what choice did we have, Africa was part of the family and loved so much by my son we couldn't risk loosing her. We left the vets knowing she was being prepared for the Cesarean. However, we had travelled no less than 10 minutes away from the surgery when my son had a call from them saying she had actually given birth while they were preparing for the operation. I was so relieved as although the cost of a cesarean was frightening I was more relieved to hear that mother and daughter were fine. We were told that an X-ray revealed no more puppies. My son and I were over the moon, a puppy what a wonderful surprise.
Two hours later we picked up mum and baby, a little white animal that looked so tiny and so beautifully formed but more like a hamster than a puppy. Over the ensuing weeks we anxiously watched the little puppy grow and Africa become a wonderful mother to her.
Lily today is a wonderful, happy fluffy ball of mischief who adores her new home, Rusty, her Dad and seeing her mum every weekend. Lily was larger than Africa at only 3 months old and now at 7 months she looks just like a little Maltese. We try to see similarities between them and although there is no physical resemblance as such, she does have a hint of her mums eyes and she definitely has her dads cheekiness and personality.