“The GPS Malfunction”
It was nighttime and while the moon lit up the path in front of him, he was unable to see. He had been wandering around aimlessly for an indeterminate amount of time and was very hungry. How much further? When would he reach that warm haven he remembered where food was in great abundance? He was tired and growing frustrated so he began to cry, a whimper at first and before long, he began to wail. Just then, he felt his body miraculously being lifted up for all of a moment and suddenly he realized he had reached his destination. Such was Mr. Lightning Bolt’s big adventure one night in the confines of the 48” x 48” whelping box that the puppies call home, until we “air-lifted” him to the comfort and safety of his mom, just a few inches away.
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 target. They use their tiny forelimbs, coupled with great tenacity, 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 their mother and each other for warmth.
With only five in the litter and a generous amount of room at the milk bar, the puppies are able to gorge themselves on the seemingly endless supply of mom’s milk that contains antibodies vital for the first several weeks of their lives. Thanks to Mango’s dedication, the milk bar is open twenty-four hours a day so the puppies’ weights have more than doubled since birth. We weigh them at least twice daily for the first couple of weeks to carefully monitor their progress. Of course the pups don’t spend their entire time eating; they spend a great deal of time sleeping and a bit of time in the gym as well. We’ve introduced a few stuffed animals into the whelping box that the plump little minions need to climb over as they scurry about in search of a snack. With his generously endowed pipes, Mr. Twister has no reservations about making his wishes known. It seems that no one is content until the sound of smacking lips fills the room.
Mango has demonstrated a tremendous resolve in her role as a mom. Despite the puppies’ birth via C-section, Mango cared for them immediately, licking and nudging each of her offspring to clean and stimulate them. For the first couple of days, we literally had to drag Mango out of the whelping box for her bathroom breaks. She even insisted on “dining in” so that she could continually tend to her flock. And just to ensure that we didn’t get a good night’s sleep, Mango herself even whined when a puppy crawled too far away! Throughout 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 very soon.
That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another beguiling installment of “Puppy Tales”