By Kyleen, age 17, Arizona
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
In December 2007 my momma dog Geisha, a Japanese Chin, gave birth to 4 puppies. The Japanese Chin is an uncommon breed of small dog. Their litters normally consist of 1 or 2 puppies. For my dog, having 4 puppies was incredible. There is rarely as big of a litter as 4, or even 2. My mom was at work and had been there for a few hours. Around 8 am, Geisha went into labor. I was 14 at the time, and had no clue what was going on or what to do. I immediately got on the phone with my mother, who rushed home just in time for the first puppy, Charlie, to be born. Geisha's natural instinct kicked in and she began taking care of her first baby. While attending to her pup, Samurai, the daddy, was anxiously prancing around, freaking out, and not knowing what to do at all.
From right to left: Geisha, Joji, and Samurai.
The second pup began to come. Joji, which means "baby girl" in Japanese, is and was the miracle puppy. She was born shortly after Charlie. Geisha began to tend to this new pup, but then turned away and began again with the first. Previously reading up on birthing Japanese Chin pups, or any pup really, I grabbed a rag, and wet it down. My mom rubbed Joji's little mouth rigorously until she began to yelp with life. The rough texture of a rag is similar to the texture of a dog's tongue.
Normally a mother dog will refuse to "birth" a pup if there is a defect in the baby. This was the case with my miracle puppy, Joji. My mother and I came to realize Joji had a defect in her leg. She had a reversed knee cap, which is where her knee cap was turned and rotated into a different spot than it was meant to be. She no longer has this issue. In the summer of 2008 she underwent surgery that fixed her leg, not fully, but well enough for her leg to function properly. Before the surgery she would limp after running around with her brothers, sister, mom, and dad. Her surgery gave her the ability to run, jump, and play like any other dog.
From right to left: Samurai, Me, Joji, and Geisha.
The third pup was her sister Bella. Bella was a twin with the last pup Runt. They are twins because they shared one placenta. The placenta is pretty much the casing for puppies. It gives them their food as well as a "section" to live in while forming. Altogether 4 pups were born.
The main reason we call Joji a miracle puppy is because if my mom and I had not been around during her birth, more than likely she would not be alive today. In nature, the mother dog would end up just disposing of her, because of having the defect. Because my mom had been around animal births before, Joji was able to live and grow into an amazing little dog. Joji was and is the miracle pup of the litter, and in my view she will always be.
Top left: Runt; top right: Joji; bottom right: Charlie; bottom left: Bella.
Her brother Charlie went to a newlywed couple looking to get their first animal together. He is currently happy and thriving in a growing family. Her brother Runt is living life on an ostrich farm in Queen Creek, Arizona. As for her sister Bella, she recently went through a pregnancy herself, being pregnant with 4, but only 1 making it, as is the normal deal for Japanese chins. Bella's pup is a miracle pup just like my Joji.
Very top: Charlie; middle: Joji; bottom left: Bella; bottom right: Runt.
Bella's story is as follows. Bella became pregnant and went into labor around 10 pm on a January night. My mom and I headed down to our friends' house, who had bought Bella, to help out with the births. Her first pup was a still birth, meaning the pup was gone even before coming into the world. The second we believe was lost because we did not get to it fast enough. The third was Lucky, the only one to have been born. Bella proceeded to go outside to give birth to him. While still attached my mom carried Bella as I cradled Lucky in a washcloth back inside to the labor box. Lucky was born around 4 o'clock in the morning the next day.
While tending to Lucky we did no notice a fourth come out. The fourth did not make it, most likely for two reasons. One, we did not notice it, and two, it had a brain deformity. Part of its brain had formed outside of the skull, so we believe that even if we had gotten to it we still would have lost it.
The bunch. :)
That night was long and heartbreaking. We lost 3 out of 4 pups. But Lucky truly was lucky. He is alive and well to this very day, and is growing and playing with his mom, Bella, and dad, Abe. They are a happy little dog family even after the turmoil of losing 3 babies.
Joji and Lucky are two alike. They are living pretty much out of pure luck. They are both miracle puppies who have changed the lives of two families. My family is blessed to have Joji with us, as is Lucky's family blessed to have him.