|Our eyes are open, we're alert and playing!|
The pups reside in what’s called a whelping box: a 4 ft. square enclosure which we’ve lined with mats and towels. in order to accommodate the puppies’ rapid growth, we’ve had to raise the pig rails up a notch. These are rails around the inside of the whelping box, that are there to help prevent mom from accidentally squishing one of her kids. At some point during the next couple of weeks, the rails can safely be removed altogether and an extension to the box will be added which will give the gang lots more room to play in. To enhance their experience, we’ve put stuffed animals in the whelping box as an obstacle course of sorts as well as fluffy playmates to cuddle with.
Now that their vision is established beyond simply being able to detect light, dark and movement, the puppies are becoming increasingly curious about their surroundings and each other. They’re staggering around and beginning to get acquainted with their littermates. They can often be seen standing in a group gently colliding or rubbing their noses and heads against one another whether awake or asleep. This activity resembles jousting or bumper cars at the fair. This is the beginning of a key period for the puppies as they are developing rudimentary social skills. They are testing each other’s limits and learning the difference between hard and soft biting and they also take turns sleeping at the top and bottom of the sibling pile which in itself is a sight to behold. The other day, we could swear that using Chanel as a retaining wall, the pile was three high!
Since the puppies are quite well established, Chanel, who’s been a stellar mom, has been taking some breaks outside of the whelping box for a bit of much-deserved “me time”. The only thing is that she’s enjoying the freedom so much that we sometimes have to drag her back to the whelping box and remind her of her responsibilities. She catches her stride in no time and is back to satisfying her family’s every need.
That’s it for now but be sure to join us next week for another highly educational instalment of “Puppy Tales”.