The eyes are the window to the soul…..
Tia’s puppies have had a wonderful week! The biggest milestone has been the opening of eyes which began to unfold a few days ago – always a very special time in our household! The pups do not have refined vision at this point and anything they see is simply a blend of fuzzy, light and dark shapes – but nevertheless from our perspective it is always an endearing, SWEET moment when you can gaze into the deep brown eyes of a little pup!!
The pups are all weighing in around 3 pounds now and the boys are starting to set themselves apart from the girls – not by much but an ounce or two. Needless to say their growing bodies mean that mealtime is a bit more crowded at the milkbar…. But everyone seems to find their place, Tia is always accommodating and bellies are always full.
Tia continues to be a stellar mum and dotes on her little family day and night. Whenever I am with the pups she watches me with an ever-vigilant eye. When I take the pups out of the whelping box for just a few moments and place them in a basket to change bedding and blankets I am always under the most careful scrutiny. I am fairly certain she can count to 8 and waits until I return all 8 puppies safely to her side. She will sometimes now sleep outside the whelping box during the night – things get crowded and hot for her — however she is never more than a few steps away and quickly jumps to attention should any of her pups voice any kind of squeak or squeal through the night.
The puppies are becoming more active and spend short periods of time throughout the day navigating their way around the whelping box, crawling over each other and building up their muscles and mobility. Any spurts of activity don’t last long and the pups quickly collapse in a heap and are lost in dreamland…. You can sometimes hear their little noises or see their little legs twitch as they dream and one can only wonder what a two week old puppy dreams about!
We look forward to the week ahead as the pups become more interactive and interested in the world around them. They grow in leaps and bounds at this age and we will savour every minute!
Tia’s pups have made it through the first delicate week of life with flying colours. They have all grown and gained weight well – the scales are tipping for all of the pups at just over 2 pounds which is double their birth weight. There is not much variation between the boys and the girls at this point and they are all quite consistent in size; they are strong, healthy pups.
Tia has been a devoted mum and it has only been in the last day or so that she will part with her pups for a few moments of community time with the rest of our golden gang. Up until now Tia has only been willing to leave her little family long enough to eat or go out for potty duties.
The pups eyes are still closed and they cannot hear yet either, but their sense of smell is incredible and they can detect Tia and her milk bar from a mile away when she is returning from meals or outdoors. Her arrival is always excitedly announced with little squeals from the pups who quickly scurry to find her in search of a satisfying meal.
While Tia does most of the work I do have a couple of jobs at this point in the puppies’ new life; the first is to just make sure that no one gets accidentally laid upon in the excitement of things or through the night. Secondly I need to keep Tia as happy, comfortable and well-fed as possible. Right now she is eating approximately every 3 hours throughout the day to equip her for the huge demands that 8 puppies place on her; we try to provide a varied menu of beef, fish, duck, eggs, yogurt, veggies/fruit and bit of kibble or rice. It’s also my role to make sure that everyone keeps warm and dry (but not too hot) and that all siblings get a fair share at the milk bar! (Those boys can be extra pushy sometimes!!) Lastly (and this is the best part) I get to spend lots of time snuggling and cuddling the pups to make sure that they have a warm and loving introduction into this world.
It will be an exciting week ahead as the puppies open their eyes and continue to grow in leaps and bounds!
Happy mum Tia
The big day finally unfolded and Tia gave birth to 8 strong and healthy puppies yesterday – April 11th. Tia managed to make a whole day of the event – and was a trooper right to the very end. Already on Monday night Tia spent most of her hours pacing the floor and searching every corner of the house for the perfect spot to have her babies (it seems the spot that I prepare, the whelping box with blankets and fresh towels is never quite good enough for anyone). She also wanted outside many times throughout the evening – again looking for a spot to dig the ultimate hole for her new family. She was not very impressed that I had boarded up the one little spot where she had found a way to get under the deck and continued to look for a new and improved outdoor location….
Fortunately by the time true labour began on Tuesday (around noon) Tia conceded to using the whelping box and got down to the serious business of delivering puppies. Tia made sure to pace herself and took long breaks between each pup, often opting for another trip outside or a bowl of icecream in between. During labour I always give our golden mums a bowl of icecream with some honey and a raw egg as it helps keep calcium and energy levels up (plus they LOVE it!!). Tia was only too happy to indulge in the special treat.
When all was said and done we were blessed with 8 new little lives. I can only imagine what kind of joy and companionship they will bring to their future families 🙂 We have Mr. Blueberry, Mr. Grapes, Mr. Lime, Mr. Banana, Miss Cherry, Miss Strawberry, Miss Clementine and Miss Peach. All the pups are close in size and are plump, content little bundles of joy. The very first thing they did upon arrival was head straight for the “milk bar” to nurse. It always amazes me how newborn pups have an exponential ability to smell and know exactly where to go for their first meal of that important colostrum. Tia has already settled in to her maternal role like a pro. She is an excellent mum.
We will look forward to all the adventures that these new little ones will embark on in the weeks to come!
Our sweet Tia is now in the final stretch of her pregnancy. She returned from her “foster home” to stay with us this past weekend and has quickly readjusted to life with her four-legged friends and family. A big thank you to the Fleming family for the great care and love that they have given to Tia, especially during her pregnancy. I know Tia will be looking forward to your visits!
Tia still loves to go for a couple of walks daily and always seems to have an appetite for the latest delicacy. Her tummy area continues to expand in leaps and bounds and she now measures approximately 97 cm. around her abdomen.
Tia has spent a great deal of time since her arrival checking out every corner of our property in search of a “Tia-approved” nesting area for her pups. Although we have a lovely whelping box set up for Tia, filled with blankets and towels and toys, Tia seems to have another spot in mind. This is of course typical for most expectant mums who usually prefer to dig a hole in the garden or under a shed over whatever place I prepare for the puppies!! As the rain comes down in torrents here this afternoon – I am glad that Tia will have a nice warm and dry place for her babies to be born instead of a rain-soaked, muddy hole somewhere.
The puppy fetuses are now fully formed and can be born safely any time now, although newborn puppies are born blind and deaf and these senses will not appear for another 10 to 14 days. Within the next day or so Tia’s temperature will drop which will signal that labour will commence in 24 hours. She has already been restless off and on throughout the day and night – so the time is growing near.
Our number one priority now will be to keep Tia comfortable and pampered until the pups make their entrance into the world! We will be sure to post an update as soon as there is any news!