For those who are curious:
6 months ago:
Her: "The six puppies of CocoBelle's third litter at age 6.5 years. We lost the runt on the left after a couple of days; later, she may have smothered one of the spotted ones near her rear leg."
Her: Well, that's good to hear now, because, there's another litter on the way (same mom, same dad)!"
Me: "I don't mean to be rude, but isn't she a little old to still be bred? That means she'll be 7 when the next litter is born."
Other member: "I have to agree with Jessie on that 1. 7 is getting up there in doggie yrs. to be breeding this poor dog. I thought you mentioned the *first* litter was born out of *Grief*???? Not to be nosey I just don't like to see a poor dog being bred when they are older. JMO though."
Her: "Yeah, I hear you.
We were about to have her fixed when three females came into heat simultaneously, and the other two weren't ready and growled the male off. We had had the appointment made, and then, it was like, 'oh crap! can't do it now! too dangerous...'
She's a *really* good mother. She really loves being pregnant and having puppies. And when they get here, and it's possible, she's going in to be fixed and have her teeth cleaned (seriously bad breath). Time for her to be a grandmama.
As I said in previous posts, she had gone into a very bad depression when another of our dogs died. And I swear that with each successive litter, she has come back to life and had years peeled away. And I became interested in the merle chihuahua, of course.
It's hard to explain. Another of our chihuahuas, almost 13 now, medically shouldn't be here with us. She's had Cushing's probably since she was 2 or 3 (at her heaviest, she was nearly 18 pounds; she's now 8.8 and the doctors want her to gain a bit more weight; believe it or not, she was papered); she was diagnosed with diabetes ~ 7 months ago and went quite suddenly, almost completely blind ~5 months ago; has bad arthritis in her *neck*, which chondroitin/glucosimone doesn't really help. She has a grade 2 heart murmor and started coughing recently. I thought it was the end. Took her in today and the vet said, "heart and lungs sound good! Probably an upper-respiratory infection." This was after the staff couldn't even look me in the eye as I brought her in. I swear she is my Energizer Bunny.
Anyway, this is meant to convey that there are sometimes exceptions to the rules. That each litter has brought CocoBelle back from the brink of profound depression (she just slept in my bed all day... now she plays with all the dogs, and my elderly Cushingsoid chihuahua regularly grooms CocoBelle's puppies and plays with them!). It's hard to explain if you've not witnessed the change in her. Imagine that you have a 4 -5 y.o. chihuahua suddenly act -- and have people identify as being older than your other -- 11 to 12 y.o. chihuahua, who has way more seriously dangerous health issues. THAT's how bad it was for her. She just existed.
But, after this, no more puppies for CocoBelle. She deserves to be a pampered grandmama."
Me: "^^^Dogs are not like humans. They do not "love" to have puppies =/ I just think it's cruel to breed a 7 year old dog. Ever hear of pyometra?
I just hate to hear excuses when there shouldn't be an excuse. There are many ways to separate females from males when they are in heat. If a spay can't be afforded, then a pregnancy DEFINATELY can't be afforded.
I think it's sad about your 13 year old chi... but I'm kind of lost as to what this has to do with Cocobelle. Honestly, I don't know how this fits in.
I don't know... I just think it's really sad."
Me again: "I also checked out your blog... you said that the breeder did not want her to be bred from the very beginning..."
Her: "Well, I don't want to get into an argument with you. If I hadn't been living with CocoBelle all these years, I would probably agree with you on the face of your argument. But, she was all but CATATONIC. I mean, she would sleep, get up and eat, pee, and get back in bed. You'd call her name and she wouldn't respond until the 8th or 9th time you called her. And, even then, she wouldn't respond very much. Each litter has brought her back to life. I wouldn't have wanted her pregnant this time (or I wouldn't have made the spay appointment) but so it was. And so she continues to be healthy and ecstatic to see her former puppies. You say it's easy to keep them separate, but I also have a pair of twin humans, 5 other dogs, and we live in a townhome/condo complex. Not so simple. The crazy male howls until the neighbors complain; the kids leave the gates open/open doors/carry the dogs around.
Like I said, I'm not saying that you should breed your 7 y.o. dog. I wouldn't deliberately breed my 7 y.o. dog, either. I don't do this for a living. I have lifetime guarantees with the new owners of the puppies to return them, no questions asked, at any time.
As for Coco's breeder, well, she wasn't exactly honest, now was she?! It really rather looked at the time like she didn't want competition (which we had no intention of providing). We weren't told she was a merle. And the breeder knew she was a merle. Our now nearly 13 y.o. chihuahua we had spayed when young as we were instructed. She was sent home with a knicked colon and without pain meds. It was a simply awful experience, before the proliferation of the web, so I had no way to checking to see if this was normal. I can tell you that Coco would have been spayed if not for that unfortunate experience (the same vet now aggressively recommends pain meds for spay patients).
You can disagree; this is your right. But Coco was perfectly healthy after giving birth at 6-1/2, and more alive than we'd seen her in several years. Her puppies gave her some reason to come back to life. I know it sounds like anthropomorphism, but I am at a loss to explain it in any other way.
Perhaps you have an answer."
Me: "I think it's wrong and awful, honestly. I don't care if the breeder was "wrong;" She said that she didn't want her to be bred. I don't care if your other spayed bitch had a nicked colon. Even though Coco was fine delivering puppies at age 6.5, she is a 7 year old dog who did NOT even get to skip a heat. Poor girl
If you can't separate your dogs... I have an idea for you... GET THEM FIXED!!! Or, don't have different sex pets. Hmmm... that was so hard. There is a HUGE pet overpopulation problem in the world, and the problem is HUMANS. Your male howls... get him neutered I am sorry... but you are a very unresponsible owner.
Like I said, dogs are not humans. A 7 year old dog is like a little old woman. As much as we, as humans, want to anthropomorphize animals... they are just that: animals.
I wish her the best of luck with her delivery, and I hope that nothing bad happens to her."