|Miss Kahlua says "You pulled me off a nipple for this?"|
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
They were perplexed. Everything they needed to get their sustenance was exactly at this location, but all of the fountains necessary to draw down mom’s sweet nectar were missing. What the puppies didn’t realize was that Sierra inexplicably decided to sleep on her back in the whelping box so the milk bar wasn’t where it was supposed to be. As if life isn’t hard enough being a tiny little sightless puppy coming up on one week of age when mom throws a challenge of her own into the mix. It took a while, but the little ones, led by Mr. Screwdriver were eventually able to navigate their way to the out-of-place plumbing.
Puppies are born without sight or hearing and their eyes don’t open until sometime during the second week, so for now their senses of smell and touch are what guide them to their mom. They use their tiny forelimbs, coupled with tremendous resolve, to propel themselves around as they seek out their sustenance and warmth. Since their body temperatures will not have been regulated until after week three, the little gang relies on mom and each other for warmth.
Thanks to Sierra’s attentiveness as a mom, the puppies are nursing virtually around the clock and have all more than doubled their birth weights. We weigh them at least twice daily for the first couple of weeks in order to carefully monitor their progress. Mom’s milk contains antibodies vital for the first several weeks of their lives. Of course it’s important for Sierra to keep herself well-nourished as well, but that’s certainly not a problem. Sierra managed to eat before her pregnancy, during labour and immediately following the delivery. In fact, she hasn’t stopped eating! Since Sierra’s offspring need to do the rock climbing for some of their meals, it’s only fitting that we get Sierra a gym membership.
To Sierra’s credit, she has been getting a bit of exercise. She’s been prowling around outside during her breaks and even spent some time inside a dog house in the run, just to evaluate the viability of the space to accommodate her pack. We’re just not sure that she’s taken into account how cold it gets at night so it’s just as well that she stays put!
That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another beguiling installment of “Puppy Tales”.