Saturday, December 26, 2009

Two days old

Willow and the pups in the small puppy pool

Orange collar boy

Willow and the pups are doing well. Willow is a very relaxed new mom, attentive, but not obsessed with her pups. I have the pups in a small plastic wading pool in my bedroom, which is the warmest room in the house. And I have a tent of blankets wrapped around the ex-pen surrounding the puppy pool to form a warm little den. It is a fine balance of keeping it warm enough for the pups, but not too warm for Willow. The pups are often comfortable sleeping a bit away from Willow, which is a good sign that it is warm enough for the pupsters. I will gradually decrease the temperature as they get older, but at this age, they have little ability to regulate their body temperature. The wading pool is small enough that the pups can't get too lost, and if a pup goes wandering, it will typically go in a circle and end up back with its littermates. At this age, baby pups don't do much more than eat and sleep, being both blind and deaf, and only able to scooch around. I am frequently doing head counts, making sure no one is trapped behind or under Willow. She is not the most careful of mama dogs, a bit of a klutzy Lab. Willow's milk is still coming in, so the pups are a bit fussy, but gaining weight. They are currently being weighed every morning and I am providing the smaller pups with private nursing sessions. Willow is getting 3 meals a day for a total of 6 cups of high-calorie dog kibble, plus hard boiled egg, chicken, and organ meat for extra protein.

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