LGDs and Goats | National Great Pyrenees Rescue

Darla, before
Darla, before
Darla Dumplin is a Pyr I got in early 2004 who had a case of heartworm so severe that there was no medical treatment for her, because of her poor condition. An herbal protocol for heartworm was used to cure her instead of immiticide. At 1 1/2 years old, Darla weighed 46 pounds. She gained 10 lbs in the first 24 hours I had her, just from having food and water—all she wanted. She went from being an object of abuse in someone's backyard that they kept just so they'd have something to hate, to being the finest example of a female Pyrenees we have ever seen.

I was astonished the first time I saw Darla as a midwife. When the kid in the sac began to show, Darla broke the sac and cleaned up the water on the doe and the ground. Then, with the next push, Darla pulled on the sac membranes. After just a couple of contractions, the kid was born. Then she cleaned up everything, consumed all the birth material and waited for the next kid.

Darla as midwife
Darla as midwife
This picture was taken right after Darla had delivered the kid, cleaned up the doe, the kid and the ground. If you look closely, you can still see the bloody umbilical cord, which Darla cut, and a missed patch of blood near the kid's shoulders. What she's doing in the picture is poking the kid in the butt with her nose to move it back to a teat. The kid hasn't nursed yet and is trying to suckle on the doe's elbows.

I was so excited about this that I called all my goat-farming friends. Most of them knew about the behavior, but had only seen pictures of it. They were green with envy that I had actually seen it happen. I didn't even know that Pyrs did this.

— by Lucy Orgain

Some Pyrs, like Darla, have been known to act as midwives but extreme caution should be exercised when dogs are present during birthing.