“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 pool, not to mention some zoomies around the island.
These pups are so demanding and Olivia is so obliging that the poor girl experienced a severe bout of milk fever or eclampsia. This occurs when mom’s calcium supply is so depleted from nursing that her temperature spikes to dangerous levels along with panting, disorientation and tremors. We succeeded in bringing her temperature back down with cold towels and icepacks but the most results were obtained with administering high doses of calcium. Olivia improved throughout the day and was her usual cheerful self within 24 hours. This condition meant she was no longer able to nurse her pups, which wasn’t an issue since they were largely weaned anyway. In order to prevent her from doing so, we had her wear a surgical gown when she was around the pups. In not nursing, Olivia had an abundance of milk. When she cuddled with us, there was so much milk leaking out of her that we became completely drenched requiring a change of clothes on our part.
We finally managed to get everyone outside to experience our winter wonderland. For the first five minutes, they huddled around in a group near the door, unsure of what to do next. One by one, overcome by curiousity, they gathered up their courage and dispersed around the yard near the house. On subsequent outings, their comfort level grew even more and they ventured further, played chase with each other or their mom, climbed rocks and found some little twigs to munch on.
As our time with the puppies draws to a close, we cherish every moment we’ve spent with them. We’ll miss those twelve little faces peering up at us, constantly whimpering to communicate the need for kisses and cuddles yet we find comfort in knowing how much happiness they will bring to their new families.
So long, little ones. We wish you all the best in your journey, but most of all, we wish you love.
P.S. We’ll be looking for your picture postings on our private Facebook group: Regalgoldens Family Tree or on Instagram (#regalgoldensfamilytree).
That concludes this edition of “Puppy Tales”. See you next litter!