|Faiths litter only hours old.|
“The Four-legged Ostrich”
It’s always in the wee hours. And despite the fact that Faith obliged us by hitting her target delivery date, sleep was going to be out of the question. Mr. Bulrush made his appearance at 1:10 a.m. albeit with his girth, he gave us all a run for the money. As a result, Faith decided to take a nice long break to enjoy a bit of ice cream. Mr. Orange Blossom arrived next, followed in quick succession by his little sister, Miss Sweet Pea and brother, Mr. Periwinkle. Then of course it was time for another break in the action so we guzzled coffee while Faith enjoyed another helping or two of ice cream. Eventually Mr. Buttercup made his debut and then Miss Powder Puff welcomed the sunrise. Poor Faith was a bit awestruck by this momentous turn of events and it took her quite some time to accept the fact of her motherhood and begin to stimulate her puppies by licking them. It all worked out in the end.
Apart from nourishment, a mom’s milk contains antibodies vital to the puppies’ survival for the first several weeks of their lives. We weigh the puppies at least twice daily for the first week to ensure that everyone is getting equal access to the milk bar. Faith watched us very quizzically as each puppy made a trip to the scale. At the one week mark, everyone’s weight has pretty much doubled which is clearly a testament to Faith’s abilities as a mom. It didn’t take long for Faith to jump up onto our bed for a quick snuggle, but she was never really able to relax for long as she needed to tend to the pups when they whimpered.
The one thing Faith has not given up on is her quest to build an igloo to house her puppies in. We spotted her the other day with her head buried in the snow resembling a four-legged ostrich. Fortunately we have the good sense not to let that happen. 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”.