After all that tedious, exhausting, mind-numbing waiting, the puppies finally arrived, all eight of them.



It all started (or so we thought) yesterday morning when our daughter, who had been having sleepovers with Charlotte in the downstairs bedroom, banged on the ceiling (our bedroom floor) at two o’clock. We hustled downstairs to find Charlotte nesting furiously, whining and panting, etc. But after an hour of hoopla, she up and fell asleep, the stinker.

The next morning we decided my daughter could go to work like normal.

But then Charlotte refused to eat her breakfast … hmm, interesting.
She did, however, accept an egg … so, never mind.
And then she threw it up … Oh. (!!!)

So my daughter decided not to go to work after all. She spent the morning reading beside a panting, panting, panting Charlotte who could barely be persuaded to leave the whelping box to go pee and poop (diarrhea! progress!).

The hours ticked by.

Charlotte: pant-pant-pant.

Daughter: read-read-read.

Me: mope-mope-mope.

And then at 2:30, a mucus plug! Pacing! Whimpering! Brief bouts of pushing! Forty-five minutes later, a couple (semi-terrifying) shrieking howl-barks, and out slipped a ball of black and white wrapped in plastic, or so it appeared. Charlotte licked away the membrane, chewed off the umbilical cord, scarfed the placenta, and woosh—out into the world slipped pup number two, wheee!

For the next several hours, that was the routine. My daughter jotted down the birth times and sexes. The kids took turns calling friends with updates. There was much (poorly) suppressed squealing and jostling to get the best view. The first puppy squeaks and whimpers may have inspired a few ecstatic tears of joy. The cousins came and got to see pups four and five come out. Another girlfriend watched pup seven emerge. My friend and her four kids made it from town in time to see the last delivery. What a party!

Could we possibly get any closer?
Blocking the distress sounds.

Three down, five to go.
Curious cousins.

My older daughter was so buzzed that she couldn’t eat supper. Not until bedtime, a couple hours after the last birth, did she finally calm down enough to eat something.

Charlotte, it turns out, is a champion mother. Except for the time she was licking one puppy’s head while scream-bark birthing another and visions of her jaws clamping down and decapitating the helpless critter flitted across my mind, she has never once shown any signs of ineptitude. In fact, so committed is she to her mothering duties that we have to carry her outside for potty breaks, after which she immediately races back at the door and whines to get in.

I was sightly flummoxed to see all these black and white pups, I must admit. Did Mr. Tiny not fulfill his duty? Was there an imposter? But then I Googled the markings of newborn beagles and was relieved to see that black and white is what they’re supposed to be. It will be fun to see their colors change over the next few weeks.

As for me, I have a new lease on life. That night I made myself a cocktail to celebrate (lime, triple sec, vodka, and seltzer) and this morning I slept in.

It’s good to be on the other side.

This same time, years previous: chocobananas, white icing, of a sun-filled evening, strawberry daiquiri base, and grocery shopping.


  • Melodie Davis

    I think Charlotte doubled my bet of 4. Charlotte looks like a happy little mother. Definitely happy. I was away so I missed the great event.

  • momma-lana

    Congratulations! Thirty-four years ago we had a doxie who had 9 puppies! Our daughter had her baby girl for which I was the labor coach on Thursday. The OB ward was full up so we ended up in a tiny room without room to turn around. The actual birth was quite cozy with 6 of us in the room but she got it done and we have a beautiful new granddaughter. Your pictures are so much like our space crunch that they make me smile!

    • Jennifer Jo

      Congratulations on the grandbaby! And you got to be present and involved…so incredibly special. Give the baby a kiss from me, 'kay?

  • Mama Pea

    Geesh, glad Charlotte didn't have to be all alone in the delivery room!

    What a truly great experience for all the kids. And attending adults, too. Hooray for Good Mama Charlotte!

    Great pics!

  • Lauralli

    I just kept thinking as I was reading….I'm so glad us human mothers don't have to lick the membrane, chew the umbilical cord and eat the placenta! 🙂 Not even to mention we don't usually give birth to multiples! Have a drink for being a human mom! 🙂

  • Donna

    What a relief! Glad it was a safe delivery and she is a good momma. I look forward to more stories and photos!

  • Camille

    What a story! EIGHT??!! Now, that is craziness!! What a wonderful thing it is to witness. And…thank you for sharing. Rest well my friend…rest well. 🙂

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