My mother bred her Schnauzers, Penny and Patrick in 1999 and we had a litter of puppies. I use the pronoun we because I was the doggie midwife, helping deliver the litter of 7 puppies. I'm not sure where Mother got the idea that I knew anything about dog whelping, but when she called in the middle of the night saying it was time, I went racing over to hold Penny's paw.
Fortunately, Penny had a relatively easy delivery and was an excellent mother, which left me with very little to do, other than calm Mother.
There was a period of excitement when one of the pups was stillborn. The poor little thing just lay there and Penny wanted nothing to do with it. Mother was pacing the kitchen floor, with a glass of wine in one hand and a cigarette in the other screaming, "Kit, do something!"
(My mother grew up in Savannah and sounded more like Paula Dean than Paula did herself.)
I had watched enough episodes of Emergency Vets that I knew to resuscitate a puppy by gently rubbing the little fellow in an attempt to stimulate and warm. When he didn't respond to gentle rubs, I got a bit more aggressive and started breathing my warm breath on him. He finally gave out a whimper, Penny immediately started licking him and within a couple of minutes he was nursing away with his litter mates.
I knew after that experience that I had made the right decision, to by become an educator instead of a veterinarian.
Happy Weekend and Happy Trails,