|Miss Plum snuggles with mommy.|
“Catch Me if You Can”
We’re sure Mr. Cardinal didn’t see this one coming. One minute he was nestled in the comfort of his mother’s belly and the next he was the subject of a mid-air rescue on the concrete patio outside the bedroom. After all, both Mr. Denim and Miss Shimmer who preceded him were gently deposited onto a plush and cozy king size bed. Unlike some other moms, Miss Surrey was in no hurry to deliver her litter. The norm was around an hour and a half between puppies, but fortunately she tossed in a couple of consolation prizes at thirty minutes each or so. Mr. Shine and his sister Miss Blossom were the next ones to make their appearance and then we waited and we waited. Finally Surrey decided it was time to go outside to the bathroom again, but she was mistaken about the sensation she was experiencing as Miss Plum also made her debut in mid-air halfway out of the bedroom porch door. This mom’s sure not particular as to where she drops her kids off!
Despite her dubious delivery practices, Surrey is a stellar mom and has embraced motherhood with tremendous zeal. As several of the puppies were busily nursing, Surrey was licking them so enthusiastically that they were flopping up and down, latched onto a nipple for dear life. We were doing our utmost to keep the newborns dry and warm while Surrey was taking us to task by cleaning and stimulating them until they were all drenched again. She eventually eased into a calmer style of motherhood. One thing that was interesting to observe was that upon her return from a bathroom break, Surrey would do a sweep of the bedroom and sniff the weigh scale in search of puppies before she reentered the whelping box…..just to be sure! We weigh the puppies at least twice daily for the first week to ensure that everyone is getting equal access to the milk bar so Surrey was definitely on the right track.
Apart from nourishment, a mom’s milk contains antibodies vital to the puppies’ survival for the first several weeks of their lives. Surrey proved to be very magnanimous as a mother, spending virtually every waking and sleeping moment in the whelping box for the first several days nursing her youngsters. This allowed them to double in weight toward the end of the first week. In fact this group was so rotund that whenever a puppy rolled on it back with legs paddling in the air, they had to be helped onto their stomachs so they could continue on their journey to the milk bar. As the week wore on, Surrey relaxed a little and periodically jumped up on our bed to get a cuddle or nibble on a bone before returning to work.
That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another beguiling installment of “Puppy Tales”.