Great to read this about one of my recent students... and it takes me back to when I used my own Labrador, Jenny, as a surrogate mum... although Jenny never produced any milk the way Jezebelle is! With the need for two hour feeding, I would have found that very useful, but after rearing a litter last year with out the aid of a dog, the thing I missed most was the tongue! Jenny was a diligent mum who cleaned them thoroughly for me.. and as you have to do this to get them to pass urine and faeces, the nappy duty became a breeze. I also rarely had to bath them which saved a lot of time.
When "her babies" were 10 days old, I did a spey on a late pregnancy and a lovely ginger male kitten was the only offspring.As the owners did not want it, I decided that three kittens would be no bigger problem than the two we had, and after a quick feed and clean up, popped it into the basket with the others, leaving them in a warm sunny spot in the office. Later, after morning surgery had finished, I went back to check it... no kitten. We searched every inch of that room, finding nothing but a small blood speck to tell us it had ever lived. With growing horror, we realised that Jenny had removed it from "her litter" and disposed of it, She was innocently curled up with her usual babies. With some sadness and trepidation, I removed the kittens and fed them - taking a few days to realise i could still trust her with them - I should have known better than to assume she would love an intruder!!! Lesson learned. I can say she loved her own kittens passionately and they grew up together, all of them eventually dying of old age.