The room was dark. Only a blade of moonlight cut through a gap in the drapes. With only minutes to curtain call, the performers were growing restless. First the sopranos opened softly. Then the altos and falsettos layered their voices on top, piercing the silence like violins being tuned before a performance. As this a cappella arrangement of “Mommy, We’re Hungry!” reached its crescendo, the audience of two was brought to its feet, wrenched out of our sleep at 3:00 a.m. once again to help Heidi and her little ones get recoupled. Ironically, it seems as though the choir spends most of the day and evening just resting up for some of these impromptu late night performances.
Heidi is now the octomom; mother to eight perky little darlings, but this description is also anatomical in nature. While most Goldens have ten teats and our Bella has eleven, Heidi has been endowed with only eight. This is why we promote an equal opportunity milk bar where each and every little creature gets to spend their fair share of time being nourished. To add to this challenge, Heidi contracted mastitis this week, an inflammation of a mammary gland which is an infection caused by a little bite or scratch. This is not uncommon in larger litters and not serious when diagnosed and treated in the early stages. We opted for two courses of treatment: the medical solution of a regimen of antibiotics coupled with the homeopathic one of strapping a cabbage leaf to the affected area. While the cabbage patch mom’s malady has improved very rapidly, the rest of the pack has been very curious about Heidi’s portable salad bar.
The puppies have all gained well with everyone doubling their birth weight. We weigh them twice daily for the first couple of weeks to carefully monitor their progress, especially considering Heidi is only firing on seven of eight cylinders. Heidi is a very attentive and loving mother, attending to the needs of her little family with every whimper, never straying very far from them or for very long. She does however find a moment for her morning ritual roll around on the grass.
Since puppies are born with their eyes closed, their senses of smell and touch are what guide them to their mom until around day ten or so. At this stage, puppies spend virtually all of their time eating and sleeping and this group is no exception. For some puppies, the incessant desire to nurse continues even after Heidi has left the whelping box for a well-deserved break. This certainly causes some confusion among the puppies as they locate the nearest sibling and indiscriminately try to latch onto one body part or another.
That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another scintillating installment of “Puppy Tales”.