A 5-star Achievement

By Violet Funk

You have to admire those who say, “I can do this!”  Meet Lissette Morelos, an ESL EAP student from Venezuela. She delivered puppies in her home. This was not an emergency delivery – it was planned. Whelping, the canine birth process, is usually handled by someone with prior experience. Prior to coming to Canada, Lissette never had a dog – her mom would not have it.

During a visit in April 2014, she met Sheba, a 6-year old Chocolate Labrador, the only female pointer Labrador who was a 4x Grand Master Field Trial Champion in Canada and the USA. It was unconditional love at first sight! So strong was the attachment that Sheba’s owner made her a co-owner when Lissette came to study in Canada in December 2014.

In mid-April 2015, Lissette took Sheba to Indianapolis to mate with Cruz, another 4x Grand Master Champion Chocolate Labrador. In June 2015, an ultrasound showed that Sheba was going to have four puppies and surprisingly, the vet encouraged her to deliver the pups at home.

This is an amended version of what Lissette did:

In her first two years, Sheba had trained in Michigan to win the Grand Master Champion title 4 times. Many Labrador owners, breeders and kennels noticed Sheba’s staunch point and natural retrieving abilities. This spring, after the advertisement of her litter, the phone never stopped ringing. Deposits were received months before the pups were born.

At 6:30 in the morning Sheba was in full labour. In the living room we had bought a whelping box where she had made her home. At 8:15 am the first female pup came into this world. Two hours later the second arrived. A very large and plump female pup came twenty minutes later. Sheba went on to deliver a third female pup. Sheba, now exhausted, was having difficulty with the birth of the fourth pup.

The fourth female pup finally came into the world assisted by the veterinarian after one hour of further induced labor. Then another problem started. The veterinarian stated he could feel three paws in the birth canal, meaning there was another pup and that the pup was breached. We now had to work quickly. Legal documents had to be signed, fees discussed and Sheba prepared for a C-section to save the life of this pup. All this seemed to take only minutes but in fact it took over thirty minutes, during which time Sheba went into one last natural induced labour cramp. The veterinarian made one final attempt to help Sheba, and in the end the beautiful pup repositioned himself and came out naturally.  

Photo: Lissette Morelos

Photo: Lissette Morelos

Where are they now?

As the pups reached eight weeks, the first pup, Blu, was driven to Buffalo, New York to meet her new owners from Scottsdale, Arizona. The family have continuously kept in touch, updating us on the training progress of their new family addition. One of the first training requirements for this pup, living in the desert, will be to stay away from poisonous snakes.

Pup number 3 named Northern Renegade will go to a well-known kennel in Michigan where Sheba came from.Riva Ridge Princess will be going to a family living near Chicago who travel every weekend to their 1500-acre ranch in Wyoming. What a lucky dog!

Photo: Lissette Morelos

Photo: Lissette Morelos

The last female pup named NStar Statue of Liberty will make her home in Minnesota in another kennel well known for their dog and field trial training. This is where Bruno will commence his training next spring.

Sheba’s only son, Bruno, is mine! I picked his name, derived from the Germanic word Brun meaning brown, shield or armor and his second name is Mattithiah which means gift from the Lord. As I mentioned before, he was the one having birth difficulties but survived!

Lissette was so well organized. She had different coloured collars to put on the pups right away so she could identify who’s who. Despite all Lissette had to go through, she passed all her courses. This was certainly a 5-Star Achievement. Anyone who has ever had a puppy will appreciate Lissette’s workload looking after 5 puppies. Let’s have a round of applause for Lissy!