My little 11 year old stepsister asked her mother a question. "Breeding with dogs, isn't that a form of abuse?" Her mother was a bit confused. "Well," she continued, "first you force the dog to couple with another dog. Then she has to go through labour. And then, after she had to take care of the pups for 8 weeks, you take her kids away again." When her mother told me this, we had a bit of a shuckle with it. Usually the mother is quite glad once the young rascals leave, because she'll finally have a little peace again. And the coupling is usually something the dog doesn't mind at that time, because of the hormones raging through her body. But the labout is a different story. Just came back from my dad's, where Angel is whelping. Or at least, I hope she's finally whelping. Her contractions started yesterday evening, which move the pups from her belly to her backend, ready for birthing. Around when I left my dad, her actual birthing contractions started. She was panting a lot and ripping sheets to shreds, probably from the pain and maybe partly because she has an urge to build a nest. Still, it's not a very uplifting sight. However much she might like it when she finally has her pups, the labour is really hard. I feel sorry for her. And it made me think of my step sister's comment. Is it abuse? Probably not, it's still "the way of nature". But seeing Angel in so much discomfort makes me doubt it a little bit.