|Mr. Merlot giving his new friend kisses.|
“To Catch a Thief”
Some may be of the opinion that a puppy’s life is easy - that it consists of nothing but eating and sleeping. On the surface, this may appear to be the case. Since Bailey has only three puppies, there’s not much competition at the milk bar. In this situation, we add numerous stuffed animals to the whelping box to force the little ones to climb over the obstacles to reach their target thereby building muscle mass. As well, when they lie sleeping, they are constantly twitching – a state known as “activated sleep”. These involuntary actions help strengthen their leg muscles. The net result is that they are now able to walk on all fours, however “wobble” would be more apropos.
No one enjoys the toy-filled whelping box more than Bailey as she can frequently be spotted absconding with one toy or another. She carries them around proudly and snuggles with them during her naps. Now that the group is well established, Bailey takes advantage of her well-deserved leisure time by sleeping outside of the whelping box and tip-toeing back into it many times throughout the day and night to ensure her little clan is well nourished. She administers some of the quicker meals sitting up, like a mobile milk bar or meals on wheels. The puppies have already tripled their birth weight and notwithstanding her new sleeping arrangements, mom’s on call around the clock to tend to every whimper. Not only is Bailey looking after her own flock, she’s still helping to nurse some of Mango’s pups and provide surveillance when they’re whisked off to the weigh scale.
The big news for Bailey’s litter is that their eyes have opened. At this stage, the puppies have hazy vision and can only differentiate between light and dark, but this will clear up very quickly over the next week or so as they begin to experience normal sight. They are able to hear quite well as soon as their ears have opened. No doubt they will be spending some time trying to understand the tenancy of their whelping box and to distinguish between the toys and their siblings.
That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another captivating installment of “Puppy Tales”.