We were lucky last week when Chanel delivered her puppies during the middle of the day. As fate would have it, along with Paige’s pup came the payback. Pups are usually born in the wee hours, so this is how it was to be. Around one in the morning, Paige began to get restless and soon after, her water broke. Mr. Bluebell (dark blue) made his debut at 2:15 a.m., feet first of course. His sister, Miss Carnation (pink) demonstrated the correct way to exit a womb at 2:52. After Miss Pansy was born at 3:58, we thought we might be on a one puppy per hour programme. Not so. It wasn’t until 5:50 that Mr. Hydrangea decided he was going to plop out onto the gravel run during Paige’s supposed pee break. What is it with boys? Since the pack usually wakes up around 7:00, sleep was going to be out of the question.
It never ceases to amaze us how the little ones know exactly what to do from the first minute onward and how they instinctively suckle and how moms know they need to do their part in stimulating the new arrivals to breathe and to eliminate by licking them. 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 twice daily for the first week to ensure that everyone is getting equal access to the milk bar, but with a little of four and an abundance of beverages to go around, we abandoned that initiative after a couple of days. At the one-week mark, everyone’s weight has pretty much doubled which is clearly a testament to Paige’s abilities as a mom.
Puppies are born without sight or hearing and their eyes don’t open until sometime during the second week, so for now their senses of smell and touch are what guide them to their target. They use their tiny forelimbs, coupled with great tenacity, to propel themselves around as they seek out their sustenance and warmth. Since their body temperatures will not have been regulated until after week three, the little gang relies on their mother and each other for warmth. Of course, we have a heat lamp at the ready to use whenever mom’s on her break.
That’s it for now but be sure to join us next week for another beguiling installment of “Puppy Tales.”