Chester Jefferson-Williams

Pulled, in utero: Tuesday July 5, 2011 from Dillon County Animal Shelter/Middle Mutts

Rescue commitment: Saturday July 16, 2011 by Save-A-Litter Pregnant Dog Rescue

Meet Chesters Jefferson-Williams

That’s right. Chester Iva has birthed FOURTEEN puppies: 7 boys, 7 girls, 9 tan pups, 4 black pups, and one very special black&white pup.

So, in keeping with my system of naming (Chester + SC towns/cities/counties), the boys are:

Chesters Jefferson, Kline, Oates, Patrick, Sumter, Ulmer and (William)s.

The girls are:

Chesters Lydia, Marion, New (Ellen)ton, Quinby, Ruby,(Taylor)s, and Vaucluse.

Fortunately, Chester Iva decided to stop at fourteen, since there aren’t any SC towns/cities/counties that begin with X, Y, or Z. Scott says that this means we can no longer foster.

And it’s true that I’ve met my original goal of 22 fosters, rescued in honor of the Chesterfield 22, the dogs shot at the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter. In fact, Chester William makes 23 total fosters.

Now, I’d like to get to 28 at least, because that’s how many dogs a family of four would have to foster in order for the City of Columbia Animal Shelter to be a no kill shelter.

And, I *think* I can talk Scott into it. After all, how can you resist such puppy cuteness. See Chester Lydia, below:

And Chester Ellen:

And sweet brothers, Chesters Jefferson and Kline, who are always snuggled up together, in one position . . .

. . . or another:

When a friend of mine inquired about the mother, Chester Iva, I admitted that she was a champ! — that I didn’t even have to re-watch The Adventures of Milo and Otis, like I had planned. Iva gave birth with ease and has been a busy and attentive mother ever since. I joked that I may let her adopt Arina and Jack, since she’s so much more of a capable parent than I am.

If a dog could roll its eyes at a human, I think Iva would have done so with me and Scott.

1) The first evidence of our clueless-ness: We had no idea *where* Iva should give birth. Scott thought she needed to do so inside, where it’s air conditioned. (And he pretends that he’s the one who doesn’t care about rescuing dogs).

I thought she’d prefer to find a nice place outside, because I read that dogs seek isolation and quiet when about to give birth. One thing our house is NOT is quiet. We have miniature dachshunds that bark at everything they see outside the window, and a toddler and six-year-old who run and scream and cry and throw things. — well, moreso Jack than Arina.

The compromise: We opened up the door to the crawl space under the house. That way, Iva could benefit from the air conditioner, which leaks cool air below, and be in a quiet, dark place. Scott made a makeshift fence out of some spare boards, so that she wouldn’t stray beyond our reach, in case she needed help.

The result? Iva jumped Scott’s makeshift fence (quite a feat, considering her size; see photo below), tunneled far underneath the house (way out of our reach), and tore down some itchy installation, from which she made a nice nest. *SIGH*

Fortunately, we do not have a photo of me and Scott, army-crawling underneath the house, to bring out the newly born pups. Even more fortunately, we do not have a photo of me doing so, before Scott arrived to help. I would crawl out with one pup, and while I was fetching another, Iva would pick up the previous one in her mouth and carry it back. Needless to say, we didn’t get far. But, I can’t say I blame her for not trusting our judgement.

Now she’s in the house, in our tiled half bath, in a plastic swimming pool, behind a baby gate. I alternate old blankets/towels for Iva and the pups to lounge on. This has worked well so far, because she seems to feel safe behind the gate, and we can help her keep an eye on the pups. There are so many that she sometimes loses track, and we’ll have to move one from underneath a blanket or behind her back, so that it can nurse. — although my mother nearly had a fainting fit at the thought of eighteen dogs in one house.

2) The second evidence of my clueless-ness: I honestly thought I was going to be this dog’s midwife and have an active role in delivering the pups. Rather, I watched as she tore off each amniotic membrane, bit off each umbilical cord, licked each pup clean, and then tidied up the mess by, yes, eating it. /shudder

So, my midwife role was regulated to holding up water for her to drink, bringing her the occasional dog biscuit, and saying “Good girl” while awkwardly petting her.

But, I suppose when you’ve sat, hugely pregnant, for weeks in a small-town kill shelter, you can handle just about anything. — even birthing fourteen puppies in a house full of pampered pooches, incompetent adults, a toddling terror and an incessantly chattering six-year-old. Still, kudos to you, Chester Iva. And welcome to the world, Chesters Jefferson, Kline, Lydia, Marion, Ellen, Oates, Patrick, Quinby, Ruby, Sumter, Taylor, Ulmer, Vaucluse and William.

2 Responses to “Chester Jefferson-Williams”

  1. Erin Says:

    OMG she was so big lol..she was huge when she left my shelter i bet she feels so much better tho. WOW 14 pups!! Good job Chester Iva. Thanks so much for saving her.

  2. fisknp Says:

    And thanks so much to you, Erin, for caring for her first!

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