|Less than 24 hours old.|
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”