Registered Charity No 1166291
As we head in to the puppies' fourth week of life, we bring to you a tale of such epic proportions it's worthy of a film! Read on for the hearstopping antics of Millie, and of course some stunning photos of the puppies!!
'The first week of Millie's motherhood passed in a sort of trance. Once the pups were born it was shocking to see how emaciated the poor girl was, but despite that, she was determined to be the Best Mother Ever. She spent her days and nights tending to her babies, only leaving the whelping box to eat. She was devouring food in a way that most bassets could only ever dream of, full meals pretty much every hour, topped up with two large scrambled eggs, sardines, cheese, bio yoghurt, salmon, puppy kibble and doggie SMA. Her food bill alone has probably been running at about £50 per week and she's still like a streak of water.
Feeding time with Mama Millie!
But her weight wasn't my only concern.
Overnight she changed from a friendly, amiable girl to a snarling attack dog. Nobody was allowed to see her babies. In fact nobody was allowed in the house. Someone I had turned to for advice suggested that she is probably not a first-time mum and more than likely she has had other litters taken too soon. My daughter had kindly agreed to come and support me for a week. It took her four hours to be allowed into the kitchen from the back garden (under protest) and after that if she dared move her hands, stand up, or move around the house, Millie was straight on her case, snarling, barking and lunging. It took almost the entire week for her to stop threatening to kill my girl and even then, looking at the puppies was completely off the agenda.
The other problem I faced, during the second week, was Millie's obsession with getting back under the garden decking. My garden is on a steep hill, so after I'd persuaded her from underneath it the first time, I tried to block her access to that lower part of the garden. The second morning she disappeared again, I got a torch and could make out her backside, but her head was down a hole. She appeared to be stuck and there was no way I was going to fit under the deck to retrieve her. I was terrified her collar was snagged, or that she'd got her head stuck in a hole and could suffocate. I ended up removing a plank from the top and she then wriggled free. I reinforced the blockade to keep her in the upper garden and made the entrance hole under the decking harder to access. Imagine my horror the next morning as I saw her using skill and agility to wriggle, over a fence, along a ledge and between a post and iron arch to get back to the deck. After that feat, getting past the other defences was simple. She ignored my calls and went straight back under the decking. And unlike the day before, I couldn't hear her either. By the time I got back with a torch, I could not even see her, but I could see the mouth of either a fox hole or badger sett. Millie had gone down it!
While this was going on I was desperately messaging the BRNGB team, keeping them updated. My daughter abandoned a work meeting to help, and I removed several planks of the deck. No sign of Millie. I even rang the fire brigade, who said they'd send an officer, but that if she was in a badger sett, there might not be anything they could do. The deck in question is old, most of the screws were rusted in place. I resorted to a crowbar. At that point Jo rang me. She said Dawn had suggested bringing the pups down so Millie would hear them calling. I left my girl watching and grabbed two pups in a box with blankets. They cried. Millie heard them and we heard frantic scrabbling. She was stuck and started screaming. More crowbar work and she broke free to her pups. My daughter took them all back inside while I rang the fire brigade to cancel the call. Suddenly my daughter was shouting "Is she with you?" And blow me, the little......mother.... had put herself back under the deck!
This time we didn't mess about, daughter brought the puppies back. We grabbed Millie and she was shut inside the house for the next 24 hours while I repaired the decimated deck and made sure even a mouse would struggle to get underneath it. My daughter, however, was more laid back: "I got to hold a puppy," she grinned.
And now it's time to introduce the pups!!!
'BRNGB has supplied these puppies and Millie with the very best of everything, to give the pups the best possible start in life. It has not been cheap. If you could possibly help, it would be fantastic.' - Sandra
If you would like to donate to help us support Millie and her babies, you can donate through our website, following the link below, please reference your donation 'Millie'.
As always, we are humbled by your support.
We understand that there will be an enormous amount of interest in the puppies, we respectfully ask that you DO NOT enquire about the availability of them, via email or message as they will NOT be responded to.