After Havana’s death, my mind was occupied by my never ending divorce proceeding and the need to get some income coming in any way I could. For the next few months, I took care of the dogs but did not think about future breedings or showing. I watched Melly for signs of her first season and although she didn’t show any color, Devin’s interest caused me to separate them for a few weeks in March. The other girls were on a totally different schedule and maybe that is what caused the “incident” but I will never know. Devin began to show interest in Melly again in late May and I checked her for color but found nothing. The other girls had just gone out and I assumed he was just unclear about which girl smelled good.
A few nights later, I came home to find Devin and Melly happily tied in my backyard! We rushed out to hold them and it was an uneventful twenty minutes. Afterwards, they both ran around the yard like idiots which I have never witnessed before or since. I did separate them after that in hopes that nothing would happen since it was not a good time for me to be dealing with puppies. But of course, nature has its own opinion and it was soon obvious Melly was pregnant.
She gave birth without any problems or really without any assistance in a few hours time. She ate every placenta before I could keep her from it and she had all the puppies clean and fed in record time. It was puppy heaven. Melly was everything Licky had not been and I wondered if it was genetics, personality, or that fact that I had kept Licky from eating placentas. While I may never know, I determined that easy whelpers and mothers were the way to go in the future!
The rainbow litter was beautiful and fun! They had no problems and just ate and played and got big. We had five smooths and two roughs this time with two sable merles, three sables, one blue merle, and one tricolor. My pick from the start was a big sable female who quickly dominated everyone. When she opened her eyes, the expression was already there and I fell in love. I also liked the two sable merle females but didn’t like either of their expressions. All the males were pretty and the lone rough female was very quiet but pretty too. This litter was much more uniform than my first even though it was an outcross. But phenotypically, Devin and Melly were very similar and the puppies bore this out.
At three weeks, I took all the puppies into the living room to work on dealing with different surfaces. All the puppies sat and cried and refused to walk on the hard wood floor except the tri rough male who I had already decided to let go to a pet home I had on a waiting list. As the little boy marched across the slippery floor with his head held high and a big collie smile on his little face, he reminded me so much of his grandmother Licky and of the first Havana that I cried. I decided to keep him! And he became Havana 2.
Once again I had the problem of everyone on my waiting list for puppies wanted a rough and I had an abundance of smooths. I even let Melly and Devin go to a wonderful companion home because really their puppies were better than both of them. I ended up keeping five of the seven, Havana, Kenya, the big sable pick female, both sable merle smooth girls and Hercules, the sable smooth male.
This was an exciting experiment as they formed a pack together with their grandmother Licky and their aunt Kate. I began to learn something I had not had an opportunity to learn before… how a group of dogs lives together in harmony in spite of a human alpha and how even generations away from their ancestors the wolves, deep inside, all dogs are domesticated wolves if given a chance to govern themselves.