Mouse made her bed next to the whelping area a week and a half before Faithfull was due to be sure she was there if Faithfull had her puppies in the night. And early Friday morning, Faithfull rewarded her diligence by laying a still wet puppy on top of her. Faithfull didn’t want her to miss it either.
So we got to spend the day watching over her, listening to the squeaks and gurgles of newborn puppies and cleaning up the woodchips everyone was tracking out of her whelping room.
And counting because every time we went in, there was another puppy. Another chubby little sausage, squirming toward mom. Another soft little face to stare at in wonder.
Until all twelve were finally born.
And though they are only three days old, we have already begun their training to prepare them for their new families.
The part where you are supposed to hold the puppies a little every day is pretty easy in a family of seven animal lovers. With a litter this size, it is especially important so that we can notice right away if one of the puppies isn’t gaining properly. There were no runts in this litter, but weaker ones can get pushed out of the puppy pile.
But the puppies also get a little more formal preparation. Based on Dr. Battaglia’s work on early neurological stimulation, we stimulate each puppy once per day by holding it in different positions for a few seconds each, tickling its toes and returning it to its mother. If they were to show signs of actually being stressed, we would change the routine for them a little, but none of our puppies protest.
These exercises have been shown to help puppies deal better with stress, overcome challenges, whine less and even strengthen their immune system.
And we want the best start for our puppies that we can give them.
I will be writing more about them here, but Faithfull has her own blog for her puppies which should be updated soon with pictures of all twelve puppies and I share quite a bit of the daily cuteness of having puppies on my Facebook page. If you are interested in a puppy, please contact me and I will answer any questions.