Zinnia was among three greyhounds found as strays by Fort Worth Animal Control, the others being a beautiful brindle and white female grey with no tattoos, and an approximately four-month-old black female puppy, Lily. When Zinnia arrived she was VERY pregnant, as you can see! Zinnia's owner was contacted, and of course he could not imagine how she arrived in Fort Worth, as she came from the area south of Austin - let alone pregnant! GALT is hopeful since Zinnia was found with other greyhounds, that her puppies are also all greyhounds, but of course, that is not known for sure. Thursday, July 19, 2007, was the day Zinnia had her puppies! Her litter of eight included three girls and five boys. See the bottom of this page for a slideshow of pictures.
Zinnia was in her "lady in waiting" foster home, when she went into labor and started birthing her babies. This was not supposed to happen until she was transferred to Mary Thomas' foster home, where birthing pups is becoming old hat! Zinnia was being fostered by the Selas, and here is the account of the grand event by Maur - she, her sister Stav and Dina Sellers (yes the Dina who also helped birth Trixie's pups)!
After going to bed at an ungodly hour the previous night my 10:50 a.m. wake up call was not a welcome one. Dismissing Zinnia's barking as a call of the wild, aka: pee time, I closed my eyes and figured she could wait five minutes for me to regain my motor skills. Five seconds later I heard a bizarre noise coming from my mom's bedroom, where Zinnia was. It was a noise somewhere between a cat's meow and a dog's howl. At that moment a surge of adrenaline went through my body and I jumped out of bed and ran into mom's room next door. There they were, two perfect greyhound babies. But why is that one's head stuck through the bars of the crate!!! Still pumped with adrenaline I ran to where my sister was sleeping screaming "SHE'S HAVING PUPPIES!!"
We ran back to the crate where one of the puppy heads was still stuck between the bars. I felt like Wonderwoman! I would stretch the bars of the crate and save this puppy from its doom! After all, Ritz (our other foster) had managed to pry open the crate many times before. How hard could it be? After my first attempt I realized this was a little harder than I had assumed. Thinking back to silly cartoons I watched as a child, I tried the ol' oil technique (you know, where you put olive oil around the neck and the head effortlessly glides out), and what do you know, it worked! Shortly thereafter Dina Sellers, one of GALT's two midwives, Mary Thomas being the other, came to the rescue.
The next eight hours were spent with a crying Zinnia, a relaxed Dina, and eight of the most beautiful puppies I had ever seen. During this time I felt nearly every emotion a person could experience. Whether it was heartache when one of the puppies did not make it, frightfulness every time Zinnia jumped up and began to howl from her labor pangs, excitement as the puppies coat color and sex were revealed, or the warmth I felt as Zinnia's maternal instincts kicked in, this was surely an experience I would never forget.
It's been almost four weeks since that Thursday, and I am just as excited about the puppies as I ever was. It seems every day something new happens with those little ones. Just last week their eyes opened, and let me tell ya', I don't think I have ever seen a more adorable face that that of a puppies seeing the world for the first time. There's something truly remarkable about these puppies, and I have been so extraordinarily lucky to have had this experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
GALT is so blessed to have foster homes willing to go the extra mile when taking care of mom and puppies!