Sunday, August 1, 2010
From Blobs to Beings
Two to four weeks of age is always my favorite time when raising a litter. For the first two weeks, the pups are helpless, blind, deaf blobs. Then around 2 weeks of age, their eyes open and they start emerging. The pups are currently 3 1/2 weeks old and look like little puppies, each with their own distinct face. They can see, hear, walk, climb, run, eat soaked whole kibble, drinking from a water bowl, and nurse from Willow standing up. They also have teeth and are starting to use them. I saw Chester tugging at the pen blanket and then shredding the newspaper underneath. Their pen has been bumped out to full size (2 ex-pens) and I have added lots of toys and the full sized litter box (the cargo liner from a Ford Escort). And the pups are starting to enjoy exploring new places - like the front yard. At this age the pups are still sleeping most of the time, and play sessions are quite short. Other than getting bigger, the percentage of time awake is the the biggest change that will occur during the next 4 weeks. Now if I could just convince Willow to feed her kids in the middle of the night. I continue to have to get up and coax Willow into the puppy pen to nurse. During the day, the most obvious sign that she needs to nurse the pups is when she starts leaving milk puddles on my hard floors. But Willow is hardly ready to turn down 8 cups of food a day that contribute to this abundant milk production. Even with reduced rations, Willow is counting down the days until she gets to go home.