Thursday, 17 March 2016

The puppies are here! A first time breeder's experience...

As most of you know, we (well, fh decided to really) made the decision to breed our Doberman bitch Inca finally. To be honest it's something we have been considering for a couple of years now, and since she isn't working anymore (who knows we may start again) it seemed like a good time. We waited months for her to come into season (by normal standards she was due in October but she seems to have a longer cycle than most) and she finally came into season in January. We found a lovely stud dog to mate her with and she happily obliged (lol).

So after five weeks of waiting we got her an ultrasound scan last month to discover four perfect sacs each with a wriggling puppy bean inside. Little did we know there were three more hiding in there! She's been behaving like she might go into labour since last weekend and every night last week we went to bed betting there would be puppies by morning, so Monday morning I really wasn't expecting it to happen because it was daytime. We were just pottering about our daily activities and I popped my head into the dining room where we have the whelping box set up, and there Inca was with a look of terror on her in her eyes and the head of a puppy protruding from the birth canal. So I instantly went to sit with her and made a hasty phone call to Rob to come home immediately, I was shaking and adrenaline was pumping! It took a further ten minutes for Freyja to be born, and although Inca cleaned her up quick and nipped the umbilical cord she wasn't that interested in her until puppy number two, Helga, was born. Then she had a little while snuggling with the two of them until she was ready to birth the next pup.

Black pup Freyja, brown pup Helga

Then Ziggy came along, another black female, with a tiny bit of meconium staining coming out with her waters. I was a little concerned until two hours later puppy four, Odin was born breech. So that explained the longer gap and possibly meconium so I felt ok that he was born safely.  Unfortunately I was not prepared for the devastation of the next male, Bjorn to be born dead. It was awful. He also came out breech and I had to gently help him come out as he seemed slightly stuck. As soon as he came out, his mouth tongue and nose pale and white, we knew he was gone but Rob still tried his best to revive him. He wanted to bury him immediately but I didn't want to bury him at all. I sat there cuddling him on or kitchen floor, sobbing, trying my best to love him as much as I could before he had to be buried. I just needed to feel like the tiny pup had experienced some sort of love before we laid him to rest.
Sorry if you guys didn't want to see this.  I just didn't want Bjorn to be forgotten.

After Bjorn came little Lagertha, the brown runt of the litter. We were surprised for her to be born because it had been another two hours in between births and we were starting to wonder if she had finished. Suddenly though we noticed more contractions and suddenly she popped out like a little furry lightening ball! Another twenty minutes or so later and the seventh puppy Ingrid was born, also quite quickly with only a couple of pushes.

I have to say, I'm feeling quite proud of Inca, for birthing seven puppies in as many hours, with a relatively straightforward labour. She stayed relatively calm and quiet throughout the whole thing and as you can see from this photo she was positively glowing.

We had some teething troubles getting her not to sit on the puppies and crush them, as well as some gentle encouragement to feed them because she's the type of dog that prefers to curl herself up into a ball to sleep. For the first two days we supervised them all almost constantly and it was bloody exhausting, but gradually she has been getting better. Until this morning when we came down to find poor lifeless Freyja had been squished. We had been up with Inca several times in the night and thought she was doing OK,  but accidents do happen I suppose. I just can't get over the guilt of feeling like we could have done more to prevent it. We buried her next to her brother Bjorn without Inca noticing.

So evidently it has been quite the emotional roller coaster for us the past four days or so. I'll post more updates soon if you guys would like that.

Getting them all to feed at the same time was quite the victory.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Makeup rules? Eff your beauty standards!

For most females, beauty and cosmetics is something we become aware of from a very young age. When it comes to wearing makeup there are so many things that people say about it, from your grandma to your older sister to beauty magazines there's always someone trying to tell you what to do or that you're doing it wrong. Regardless of their intentions or their credentials, who's to say they're right? Alternative and goth subcultures specifically are known for rule bending looks on the more extreme end of the scale with heavy coverage foundation and dark rimmed eyes, black lips and shaved or extremely manicured  brows. Not to say that everyone belonging to those subcultures will be sporting those looks mind you, because whilst makeup is a big part of thelse kinds of looks in isn't the defining factor of identity for goth etc.

So I thought I would do a little debunking of these so called rules, just to let you all know that you can carry on expressing yourselves no matter what the world is telling you. Because obviously you need me to tell you that. 

Eyes or lips. 

It's like the old "legs or boobs" rule, you can only get one out or you risk looking like a slut. I don't beleive in either of these viewpoints, because, hey, people should be able to express themselves however they see fit. I mean picking eyeshadows and lipsticks that compliment each other can be intimidating but when all you're wearing is black you can't go wrong, right? 

Match your lipstick to your nail varnish

Who in the real world has the time for this much thinking ahead?! Get real.

Don't tweeze above your eyebrows, only shape underneath for a natural brow

Personally,  my natural eyebrows are pretty horrific. They are huge and messy and have long coarse hairs, which I trim with scissors and then pluck the shit out of them, top and bottom. I feel like there is a huge obsession with eyebrows in the mainstream beauty world at the moment, and it really really baffles me. Ten years ago thin brows were fashionable and sought after, and now you will see articles slating the thin brows in favour of youthful bushy ones. Each to their own I suppose, but again a lot of goths tend to shave their eyebrows and draw them on everyday in fun shapes so as to make upkeep easier.

The link  for this picture is actually from one of those eyebrow articles

Only wear warm or cool colours based on your skin tone.

Argh makeup is supposed to be about freedom and creativity why must we impose so many rules like this?! I don't actually know if I have warm or cool skin, nor do I know how to tell for someone else's skin, so I think most people are highly unlikely to look at your average Jane on the street and say "wow that eyeshadow is NOT working for her warm skin tone at all". I think everyone should be free to experiment with colours and not be restricted by skin tone, eye colour or any other classification that means green eyeshadow is off the table for them.

Apparently this  is how you would know which one you are

Don't wear eyeliner or mascara on your bottom lash line

OK,  I don't know who the hell thought this one up.  Without eyeliner on at least my top and bottom waterline I feel naked, and I tend to put a lot of black on the bottom lash line to match the upper lash line or it feels unfinished. According to some beauty know-it-all's it can make your eyes look tiny, but without mascara on the bottom lashes I feel it can look very top heavy. Some people like heavy eyeliner ok!

Stay away from dark eyeliners

Well we don't want to risk looking goth now do we? How tacky. If you really must wear one make sure it's only at night time on a very special occasion, during the daytime just cover your eyes in glitter instead for a lovely fresh disco ball look.


Avoid false eyelashes for everyday use

Sorry to say, false lashes are just too much for daytime wear. Only the very skilled in false lash application can get away with it, and even then individual lashes are vastly preferable to strip lashes. Well people, I must respectfully disagree. In my opinion, mascara just doesn't do much if you have average eyelashes. False Lashes just add so much more dimension to a look. They just make it so much more awesome. Can you tell I'm an addict?


Heavy foundation is not for every day

So they say that full coverage foundation is just for night time and special occasions (again with the special occasions!) It is recommended you use a foundation that is a shade darker than normal to accommodate your (gasp!) suntan. Some people have skin issues and things they want to cover up, and personally I like pale foundation with full coverage to cover as many of my freckles as possible. Most people that work at beauty counters in shops try and match me a foundation that is much to dark for me because they are going for the freckle shade and not the colour underneath. Surely if my whole face looks tanned my freckles will dissappear? Ha. No thankyou sir. Not quite your white grease paint but not far off.

In conclusion, please don't tell me I'm wearing to much makeup. Sit the fuck down and let us paint our faces.