Skip to main content

Storm & Olivia Litter – Week One

Less than 24 hours old.

“Roulette”

We knew last Wednesday would be the big day. Olivia affirmed this when her water broke at around 1:00 that afternoon. We were hoping to get a bit of rest beforehand and have some time to finish getting everything prepped however Olivia had other plans. At 1:40 pm, she promptly plopped Mr. Ruby out on the bedroom carpet. Nearly two hours later, she squeezed Mr. Rose Quartz out atop a snowbank in the yard. Twenty minutes later Mr. Citrine was born on our bed and so it continued like a game of roulette. We never really knew when or where this mom was going to deliver a puppy as her contractions were not very pronounced. We typically have the moms up on our bed where it’s easier for us to deal with the process, but Olivia would alternate between the whelping box, the bed, the snow, the carpet and to mix things up even further, she deposited Miss Topaz on the deck outside our bedroom. After more than twelve hours, Olivia finally completed her task having given birth to fourteen puppies of which two, sadly were angels. The next two or three hours were spent getting everything and everybody settled in.

In the order of their birth, they are Mr. Ruby (red), Mr. Rose Quartz (Pink), Mr. Citrine (Orange), Mr. Jade (Green), Miss Amber (Yellow), Mr. Sapphire (Dk. Blue), Miss Aquamarine (Lt. Blue), Miss Amethyst (Purple), Miss Onyx (Black), Mr. Opal (Grey), Miss Diamond (White) and Miss Topaz (Brown).

Despite being a first-time mom, Olivia embraced her new role like a seasoned pro. She instinctively knew to stimulate her pups by licking them because newborns are unable to eliminate on their own. She generously offered up her milk which contains antibodies vital for the first several weeks of their lives. Thanks to Olivia’s dedication, the milk bar is open twenty-four hours, so the puppies’ weights have nearly doubled since birth. We weigh them twice a day for the first week to ensure everyone is getting the nourishment they require. It was interesting to note that despite having room for eight at the “dinner table” the twelve pups somehow worked out their own rotation with limited intervention on our part.

Puppies are born without sight or hearing and it will be a while before their eyes open, so for now their senses of smell and touch are what guide them to their mom. They use their tiny forelimbs, coupled with a great deal of determination, to propel themselves around. Now mind you the scale of their world is quite small at this stage so that when a puppy makes a wrong turn and ends up in a far corner of the 48” x 48” whelping box, the volume of their cries for assistance causes us leap to attention. Unfortunately, they’re still a bit small to read maps.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another beguiling installment of “Puppy Tales”



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Storm and Olivia Litter – Week Seven

“The Milk Bath” What a week! The action began one afternoon between shifts, when our caregiver leaves for the day and we arrive to take over. In the ten minutes that the pups were unattended, it seems that piece of trim around the entrance to the whelping box that holds all the slats in place got compromised. We arrived to find every single puppy had exited their dwelling. They were all around the sunken living room and even a step up in the kitchen area exploring this new territory – even Olivia’s water bowl in the kitchen was being used as a swimming pool. A quick repair allowed order to be restored and everyone to be returned to their quarters. As the weather got to be somewhat messy throughout the week, we did legitimize kitchen playtime with the gang by setting out some mats, their play station and their favourite: a tub of balls! The action ramped up in no time as some were bashing the play station with their paws, batting balls around the kitchen and “swimming” in their ball poo

Howie & Pepper Litter – Week One

  “Number Nine” Puppies are typically born in the middle of the night, but every now and again we catch a bit of a break. In fact, Pepper surprised us with a quick “deposit” of Miss Twilight (Purple) at 4:15 pm before we even had a chance to set up for the big event. In as much as we follow the science by taking temperatures, monitoring behaviour and stages of labour, we had to do a quick scramble. Her brother, Mr. Galaxy (grey) followed at 5:22 and so it went every thirty minutes of so for Miss Mars (Red), Mr. Martian (Green), Miss Milky Way (Beige), Miss Sunglow (Orange), Miss Comet (Yellow) and Mr. Supernova (Blue) at 8:15 pm. Pepper was dropping them out like a vending machine* so we were optimistic. And then we waited and waited and waited. It wasn’t until we carried out a procedure to “shuffle the deck” (dislodge a stuck puppy) that we were graced with the presence of “Number Nine” - Mr. Starry Night (Black) at 10:08 pm. Fortunately his sister Miss Moondust (Brown) capped off the

Howie and Pepper Litter – Week Two

Sleeping beauties! “I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up” At first glance, it may appear that the puppies spend all their time sleeping, but they also do their share of exercising. As they lay there asleep, they are constantly twitching. These involuntary actions, referred to as “activated sleep,” help strengthen their leg muscles and begin to build muscle mass. We’ve also added a rolled-up towel which serves two purposes. It acts as a barrier to place the pups behind when mom is entering or exiting the whelping box. It also creates an obstacle course that the puppies must climb over to help them get their muscles into shape. All was well until one day; we heard a persistent cry for help emanating from the whelping box. Upon further investigation, we discovered Mr. Supernova stuck on his belly atop the roll with all his legs flailing in mid-air. We’re sure his legs will be long enough in another couple of days. It’s always exciting for us when the puppies’ eyes open at around the 10-day mark