Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Cody is proving to be a superb mother. She is very attentive to her puppies. She’s been lying in the whelping box for the past four hours. Today she willingly left them to go bathroom and say hi to her sister and brother, but returned after a few minutes to her puppies.
She eats very little, and I know that’s normal, but it concerns me. She drank a few lapfuls of evaporated milk, ate a few bits of liver that I was saving to train one of my other dogs. She refused her regular food. She’s always been a picky eater and tended towards the petite side.
Each time I hear a puppy squeak, I run to the whelping box to make sure all’s well. I’ve been helping the puppies get to the milk bar because I hate hearing them cry and struggle to get to her. It’s as though they are swimming against a tide and often in the wrong direction. I’m waking up every 2 hours to do this. By midday today the puppies were getting much better at finding the source of all goodness, and I’m finding myself intervening less. I’m told by an experienced breeder that it’s okay to do this, and that I’m not compromising some important aspect of the puppies’ development.
The little rascals crawl under the newspapers, though, but Cody is good about pulling them out. I help her sometimes.
To this day I do not know the sex of the pups. I handle them as little as possible. I took a few pictures of them today, and videotaped them nursing. Only a breeder would find that facinating!
Cody is very dependent upon me, although she’s doing a splendid job with the pups. If I leave her sight, she comes looking for me. She’s learned how to push the bathroom door open, much to my chagrin. I went out briefly today. She was a bit anxious at first, but settled back in with her babies. She ran to the door when I came home and wrapped her lithe body around my legs in relief.
Paranoia set in albeit briefly today as I was surfing the internet, reading about various breeders’ experiences. It suddenly occured to me that I only saw one placenta expelled, and that was after the first birth. As I’m writing this, though, there were others, but mostly they came out like a torrent of blood. Then the puppies were fussy for a few minutes in the early afternoon, and I swore they had just finished nursing. So I had this horrible feeling that the puppies were all fading and they weren’t getting enough milk because Cody isn’t eating. I panicked and called my mentor M__ for advice. He recommended that I do the dehydration test on the pups, then check Cody’s nipples for milk. The puppies were quite hydrated, and yes, there was milk.
I really gotta relax!