|Mr. Ivy cuddling with Miss Iris and Miss Daisy!|
“The Wet Nurse”
Motherhood comes naturally to Mango. Despite her C-section, she accepted her pups right away. When she arrived home, a little groggy from the surgery, her “sister” Bailey stepped up to the plate to help out and cross-nursed Mango’s puppies while Mango was recuperating. This arrangement continues to work out well, considering that Bailey has only three little ones in her own litter. We weigh the puppies at least twice daily for the first couple of weeks in order to carefully monitor their progress. It’s interesting to see that while Mango is busy nursing, Bailey even keeps a watchful eye on Mango’s puppies, occasionally providing an escort as they’re whisked off to the weigh scale.
Thanks to Mango’s dedication as a mom, spending almost 24 hours a day in the whelping box, the puppies have pretty much doubled their birth weights. Mr. Orchid was the first boy to break the 2 lb. barrier and Miss Poppy the first for the girls, albeit everyone’s close to the same weight. Mango’s milk depository provides their nourishment which contains antibodies vital for the first several weeks of their lives. She provides them with the warmth necessary for their survival as their body temperature is three degrees below normal at birth, climbing a degree each week thereafter. The little ones spend all of their time eating or sleeping and since their eyes are closed at birth, their senses of smell and touch are what guide them to their mom and to each other. They use their tiny forelimbs, coupled with a great deal of determination, to propel them around. Since this is a very feisty bunch, it won’t be long before they’re walking.
|Mango shortly after returning from her c-section with her 4 adorable girls and 3 handsome boys.|
One thing is for certain: this is one of the chattiest litters we’ve had in quite a while. Not only do they vocalize their demands for food, but they chant for their mom the moment she re-enters the room from her break. And just to ensure that we don’t get a good night’s sleep, Mango herself even whines when a puppy crawls too far away!
For the first few days, Mango settled into the whelping box with her puppies extremely well, almost needing to be pried out of it with a crowbar in order for her to have a bathroom break. She also insisted on “dining in”, so she could look after her brood every waking minute. But of course, things change. Later in the week, Mango decided that she might still be able to improve on the warm, clean surroundings of the whelping box as she stole out into the yard to excavate a nice muddy hole to house her new family in. We’re hoping to be able to change her mind.
That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another titillating installment of “Puppy Tales”.