Willow's litter by Runner was whelped on July 7, 2010 and includes 6 boys and 1 girl, all yellow Labrador Retrievers. Some of these pups will hopefully grow up to become ICAN assistance dogs. Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN) brings together three uncommon groups - children and adults with disabilities, incarcerated adults, and dogs - to assist people in living their lives more productively and with increased independence. More info at www.icandog.org
Saturday, July 17, 2010
New living quarters
10 day old pupsters. They have just about outgrown this plastic tote
The feeding frenzy - looks like a rugby scrum
Willow is being such a relaxed mom, not caring if the other dogs are around her pups, so I decided to set up another puppy pen in the living room for day use. That way, Willow can have access to the doggie door, which is helpful considering how much she is eating. I will move the pups into the bedroom pen at night for another week or so.
The pups continue to thrive. Some pups have eyes half open, and a few have tried to get up on their feet. For the first 1-2 weeks, the pups drag their hind legs behind like seals, but as they mature, they start getting their hind legs under their bodies and begin pushing off. At this stage, I make sure to have bedding in the pen/pool that provides good traction. Old blankets work well. The other developmental milestone is that the pups are beginning to toilet on their own. Prior to this, Willow needed to stimulate them by licking (avoid dog kisses from nursing mother dogs!). Auntie Tacara (my German shepherd dog) has started to assist with clean up duties.
Although not the most attentative of mother dogs, Willow excels in milk production. These pups typically look like stuffed ticks, and sometimes don't even react if Willow steps into the pen. At other times, they come alive like little frenzied beings. The other way you can tell how well fed these pups are is that their puppy poop is often very pale, almost like cottage cheese. Their little systems are so overloaded that the milk is coming out the other end barely digested. These pups shouldn't need any supplimental bottle feeding.
Willow is convinced she is starving, even at 6 cups per day of kibble. Yesterday evening, I caught Willow in my garden chowing down on Swiss chard, not nibbling, chowing!