There were a few questions after our post on ourfostering story and instead of answering them individually I thought I'd answer them all here.
Two Pitties in the City asked two questions:
"This might be a dumb question...since Great Danes are larger, does this give them more room to house larger litters?"
I'm no expert on this, but I don't think it matters on the size of the dog as to how many are in the litter. Our friend who foster's kittens told us that with cats, the litter size and mix depends on how many times (and with whom) the mother mates. A litter of kittens will sometimes have a mixed bag of colors if the mom cat mates with say, five different males there could be 8 kittens with five different dads. Since Tom and his wife weren't familiar with dog breeding and they didn't know right away Misty was in heat, Atlas and Misty were allowed to "get it on" multiple times resulting in a larger litter. If say they only let them mate once or twice, the litter would have been significantly smaller.
If you Google it, there are large litters born to smaller dogs, like 24 puppies to a Mastiff.
When the puppies were born there were some puppies that were a fair amount larger than others. I don't know if it's just that some pups got more food while growing in Misty or if larger puppies were from the first time Atlas and Misty mated, and the smaller puppies were from actions a few days later. Maybe someone else more knowledgeable on breeding can answer that.
Did you know you wanted a Great Dane, or even a dog, before you started fostering the puppies?"
I find this question to be funny. Only because before fostering I was really wanting to get a cat! Before I moved to Seattle I was more of a cat person.
Here's my favorite, Miss Piggy, who lives with my exboyfriend. (I'm hoping that once we get a bigger place (which may be a while) Miss Piggy can come live with us.)
Before the fostering came up, I was trying to convince Jason to let me get a kitten (to keep at his place). I've had dogs growing up (a Golden Retriever, Hunter, and a Samson, a pit mix) so it wasn't that I was anti-dog, but cats are so easy to care for!
When the possibility of fostering came up I was really quick to say yes. I love puppies (who doesn't?)! I thought I could play foster mom temporarily and get my animal fix, but of course, it's never that easy to let go.
You can read more about our decision here. Followed by this. And then this. And the last part here.
Jed and Abby in Merryland asked:
"So what's the rest of the story? Did Misty get healthy and have a good [spayed?] life? With Atlas? Did all the farmed-out puppies survive and find good homes?"
The rest of the story is, after recovering from giving birth and caring for all the puppies, Tom and his wife took Misty and got her spayed. She is happy and healthy and actually a smidge overweight at the moment, but she deserves a little indulgence after what her body went through!
As for Atlas, he was studded out (is that what it's called?) to mate with a Harlequin female and they had a litter of puppies (8 or 9 I think) a few months ago. They considered leaving him unfixed to keep him as a stud dog, but after a while decided it would be better to have him fixed and leave the puppy making business (whew).
As for all 16 puppies, they were quick to find homes for all of them. The biggest boy and the biggest girl were favorites of Tom and his wife respectively and there was talk of them maybe keeping one of them. They realized that three would be too many for them to handle so they all found good homes. It was pretty fun (and sad) as many of the puppies were picked up by their new families from our office, but we got the whole experience. As new owners would come in to pick up their new family member they were often met with many aunties and uncles who wanted to see who was taking a "member of our pack".
I do have contact info for most of the owners and so far only one family (that we are aware of) rehomed their pup. But he's in a really good home now and may even have a little Blue sister (more on that later).