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Showing posts from June, 2018

Storm and Chanel Litter – Week Five

“Friends for Life”
The dynamic in the whelping box is evolving. This is the beginning of the most influential socialization period for the puppies. They’re learning to communicate with each other and with us by wagging their tails. With the increased control over their facial muscles, they are making expressions and are beginning to reveal their personalities and communicate their opinions. They spend longer periods of time awake and they use it to engage in some manner of play with their siblings whether head-butting or wrestling. They’re also craving a lot of attention and affection. When we were removing the pig rails from the whelping box, the puppies came to investigate with a perfect blend of caution and curiousity. This gave way to a great deal of hand nibbling and cuddling. In short, they’re making friends - both with us and each other, not to mention their little stuffed toys.

Since the little ones are getting more accustomed to eating solid food, their food is being prepared a…

Storm and Chanel Litter – Week Four

“Five Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
Chanel and her brood have been relocated into the living room which is a pretty regal deal for mom. She’s got both a sofa and a love seat to stretch out on, not to mention some carpeting and some sections of cool wood flooring for lounging. There’s also a walkout to the backyard for those peaceful Zen moments or for chasing chipmunks. Unlike many other moms in this situation, Chanel didn’t bat an eye. She knew this was a good deal, but perhaps her puppies did not. It usually happens at least once in every litter that a puppy manages to escape over the wall. In fact, Mr. Smoke had his fifteen minutes of fame at two weeks of age. Not long after they were relocated, five of the little ones slipped out into the living room to get a better look at the carpeting. So, without the benefit of a GPS to guide them, they soon realized they have no clue as to where they were (and of course that there’s no food in sight). They then needed to be rescued and must sur…

Storm and Chanel Litter – Week Three

“A Foot in Cold Water”
Here’s one we’ve never witnessed before. We’re not certain as to whether it’s something she learned in a spa or if it has some other purpose, but we’ve noticed that Chanel puts her right paw inside the water bowl while she’s having a drink. Irrespective of the reason, at least the bowl is fixed in place during her hydration session and she has one clean foot.

To add to the challenge of nursing eleven puppies, Chanel contracted mastitis this week - an inflammation of a mammary gland which is an infection caused by a little bite or scratch. This is not uncommon in larger litters and not serious when diagnosed and treated in the early stages. We opted for two courses of treatment: the medical solution of a regimen of antibiotics coupled with the homeopathic one of strapping a cabbage leaf to the affected area. That gets followed up with basting the wound with saline solution and the incredible healing properties of honey. Since the pups aren’t even remotely consideri…

Storm and Chanel Litter – Week Two

“500 Miles Away from Home”
The day began like any other. The morning dew burned off with the hot caress of the sun’s rays. It was very still, apart from the occasional fluttering of a mama robin’s wings as she hurried off in search of food for her young. Yet something felt out of place. A trip to the bedroom where the whelping box resides revealed the answer. There were only ten puppies on hand. A scan of the room revealed nothing. And then…..a tiny muffled voice; but from where? The search was escalated to the highest priority. Finally, Mr. Smoke, the little rascal was retrieved from way under our king-sized bed. The distance travelled was no small feat for such a little creature who hasn’t even learned to walk yet. We can only conjecture how he managed to escape over the barrier – either he crawled over the back of a sibling or he was still enjoying breakfast attached to his mom when she left the box to have a little break. What suction!

It’s always exciting for us when the puppies’ e…

Storm and Chanel’s Litter, The Fire Litter – Week One

“The Job Description”
It’s always a bit confusing for a mom giving birth by C-section. For the weeks leading up to the birth, a mother-to-be knows she’s going to have a litter. When they’re delivered by C-section, it’s rather perplexing for her because the babies seem to appear out of nowhere…..and they already have demands!  Chanel warmed up to the idea quite readily and immediately began to bond with them, but it took a day before she came to the realization that the job came with responsibilities. After 24 hours, she stepped up to the plate and began to lick and nudge each of her offspring to clean and stimulate them as they are initially incapable of eliminating on their own. For the first couple of days, we had to coax her out of the whelping box for her bathroom breaks which are conducted in record time. She even insists on a “dining in” meal plan so that she can continually tend to her flock. 
With eleven in the litter and only so much “equipment” to go around, we try to get the …