|Happy One Week Birthday!|
“Hide and Go Seek”
Bailey has always been one to come late to the party. We had her pegged to deliver her puppies on Friday, then Saturday, then Sunday and when that didn’t happen we knew it was time to consider a C-section. It was then we welcomed the seven puppies we were expecting plus one! Bailey’s girls are Miss Saffron, Miss Chile, Miss Pepper and Miss Garlic and the boys are Mr. Basil, Mr. Salt, Mr. Curry and Mr. Nutmeg. Normally a mom is a somewhat perplexed by the sudden appearance of the puppies that she thought she was going to deliver so there can be a bit of a disconnect. However Bailey stepped up to the task like an old pro and allowed the little ones to nurse right away. Another of mom’s jobs is to stimulate the puppies to eliminate by licking them. That took just a while longer to become part of Bailey repertoire. Nevertheless, Bailey’s maternal instincts are in full force as she is a very doting and loving mother. She even needed to be coaxed out of the whelping box to go out for her bathroom breaks.
While the whelping box is a very clean and secure environment, that didn’t deter Bailey from investigating other prospective habitats for her puppies including the wooden doghouse and a partially excavated hole in the snow. When will they learn? As the week wore on and once Bailey was satisfied that her pups were safe and sound, she spent some time on our bed demanding cuddles as usual and even joined Sierra in the yard to make snow angels together. Sierra with her new litter of five is Bailey’s roommate. Since Sierra had plumbing to spare, we outsourced some of Bailey’s pups for Sierra to nurse.
The puppies are all doing well and gaining weight to the extent that they have doubled their birth weight. We weigh them at least twice daily for the first couple of weeks to carefully monitor their progress. Newborn puppies are unable to regulate their own body temperature and for the first three weeks. Their temperature climbs one degree until it reaches the normal range. When mom is on her break, we use a heat lamp to keep everyone warm and cozy, but when mom’s around, they’ll either snuggle up with her or lay intertwined with their siblings. Mr. Nutmeg has found other ways to keep warm by burrowing underneath layers of towel in the whelping box. One time we discovered we’d rolled him up as we were changing out the towels and almost put him in the laundry basket! Let the games begin!
That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another enchanting installment of “Puppy Tales”.