|Mr. Jet Black is the first to be born.|
“Fly Ball”She’d been down this road before, but she needed some assurance that everything would be alright. On the eve of puppies’ births, Whitney snuggled up to spoon with us and to get some quality touches before the big event. Nearly five hours later at 4:15 a.m., Mr. Jet Black poked his head out. We were afraid might see his shadow and go back inside but with a little encouragement he said hello to the world. Forty-five minutes later, Mr. Camel made his entrance followed by Mr. Mint. Then Whitney made us wait for an hour and a half before Mr. Tangerine was born which completed the ensemble of four boys. The girls must just have been polite to wait their turn. After another hour and a half, Miss Carnation made her debut. Fortunately we only had to wait another ten minutes for Miss Chiffon as we all know that girls are more punctual. The big surprise was that while Whitney was out on what was supposed to be a pee break, she delivered Miss Pansy outside whom we caught in mid-air like an overpaid outfielder. The list was capped off with Miss Strawberry and finally Miss Linen at 10:38 a.m. thus completing the quintet of girls.
As the seasoned veteran of two prior litters, Whitney was quite low key as we worked our way down the list, but her excitement built up to a crescendo with the birth of the last two girls. All the pups weighed in around the one pound mark and were relatively equal in size. They all wasted no time in bellying up to the milk bar. Apart from nourishment, a mom’s milk contains antibodies vital to the puppies’ survival for the first several weeks of their lives. Whitney is magnanimous as a mom, spending virtually every waking and sleeping moment in the whelping box nursing her youngsters. This allowed them to double in weight toward the end of the first week. After the first couple of days, Whitney relaxed a little and periodically jumped up on our bed to burrow in the sheets or get a little cuddle or two before returning to work.
We weigh the puppies at least twice daily for the first week to ensure that everyone is getting equal access to the milk bar. Whitney watches us very carefully as we pick up a puppy to take it to the scale. If the process takes too long for her liking, she rushes to the scale to escort the puppy back to the warmth and safety of the whelping box.
Newborn puppies are unable to regulate their own body temperature and over the first three weeks, their temperature climbs one degree a week until it reaches the normal range. When mom is on her break, we use a heat lamp to keep everyone warm and cozy. We’ve found that these kids love to nestle into their mom or use her paws for a pillow as they dream the dreams that puppies do.
That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another beguiling installment of “Puppy Tales”.