Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Big Chill

Day 2 and everyone is still alive. I know that sounds morbid but the first weeks of a puppy's life are fraught with danger at every moment. Mom could lie on them, they might not get enough to eat, they could get chilled ... all things we need to be mindful of in these early days. I managed to catch up on some sleep but Leeloo made sure I was never allowed more than a couple hours at a stretch, sometimes only ten minutes!

She is a great mom, very diligent and concerned about their well being. She spent most of the night fussing over them which is fine except we do have to watch for over-attention. Some dams obsess so much over cleaning the babies or removing their umbilical cords they can harm the puppies. Leeloo is diligent but not quite classified as obsessive.

She also worried every time a puppy got 'too far away' from her. She'd whine and look at me to go get it - the  proximity alert goes off if the puppy is more than her leg length away - give that her legs are unusually long that's pretty far! Once I get the puppy and return it to her side she fusses and licks and makes sure it's okay and then relaxes until the next puppy rolls too far for her comfort.  Mr Red is well within The Zone.

Today Leeloo has decided that she need not fuss every moment and allowed the puppies to nurse and sleep in turns. She is quite content, much more at ease than Halo ever was and I offer her lots of praise for taking such good care of the puppies. She has an incredible amount of milk, so much so I will have to watch her for mastitis (a kind of milk fever), but with 10 hungry mouths to feed I'm sure it won't be a problem. Here's what we like to see: a totally chillaxed Momma with content napping babies eating by turns and sleeping fitfully.

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