|Snuggle time with momma.|
We knew it was going to be a long night, but as night turned into day, it became evident that Sierra was going to need a little help in delivering her puppies. While she was lying on our bed experiencing contractions, the funny thing was that Sierra somehow managed to maintain her trademark wiggle lying down. Since she was expecting a litter of only five, the pups had grown so big that the first one in line created a roadblock, necessitating a C-section. The procedure went well and before long, we were graced with the births of five not-so-tiny babies: Miss Cotton Candy, Mr. Jellybean, Miss Lollipop, Mr. Gumdrop and Mr. Lifesaver.
Any time puppies are delivered via C-section, there is an ensuing period of adjustment. The mother-to-be knows she’s going to have a litter, but then she goes to sleep and wakes up with these foreign little beings demanding her attention. It takes mom a while, sometimes several hours and sometimes a couple of days, before she comes to the realization that these are actually her babies that have mysteriously appeared. There’s never reservation about nursing them, but we have to clean and manually stimulate the puppies to help them eliminate until mom rises to the occasion herself. Fortunately it didn’t take long for Sierra to come around and perform all of her maternal duties. Sierra even rose to the occasion to help nurse Bailey’s pups when she returned home from having her own C-section.
Sierra has always been one to make herself comfortable, regardless of her surroundings and circumstances. After two or three days of laying in the whelping box nursing puppies, Sierra decided she would changes things up and get comfortable by lying on her back in the middle of the whelping box. The puppies were confused at first because the milk bar wasn’t where they expected to find it, but they eventually managed 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. Of course, we do use a heat lamp for good measure when mom is off on a break.
That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another beguiling installment of “Puppy Tales”.