It’s been an exciting few days here!! Ivy spent most of this past Sunday morning and afternoon panting and pacing and…. digging. Yes, digging. Ivy had found a couple of “perfect” spots out in our yard where she figured she would build a den, settle in and give birth to her pups. I did finally convince her that the clean, snuggly blankets and a cozy spot indoors might be better suited for what lay ahead! She continued to be very restless well into Sunday evening and finally, just a little after midnight the first puppy was born, a strong healthy baby boy. Within 20 minutes another pup appeared and for the next 4-1/2 hours Ivy concentrated on delivering her new family into the world. 8 beautiful pups in total. This is Ivy’s third (and final) litter so she is a pro when it comes to motherhood; I’m sure after the long day she was extremely tired but she settled right into her role, cleaning and caring for the pups and making sure everyone was within sight. As soon as one puppy would start to crawl away from her she would become quite concerned — so my job right now is to make sure everyone stays close to her and she can account for each little pup. My other job is to make sure she gets LOTS of food as providing milk for 8 puppies requires a lot of fine dining on her part. Lastly my job is to make sure blankets and bedding are kept clean and warm and that Ivy feels safe and comfortable.
Pups are born with their eyes closed and no ability to hear yet – and they remain this way until they are around 10-12 days old. Their number one sense at the moment is their sense of smell. It is amazing how even only minutes after birth they can find their way to Ivy simply through their amplified sense of smell and begin nursing for their first meal.
The pups are all doing well and are gaining weight nicely. At birth they were all around a pound each, with the boys being slightly larger than the girls. We welcome our new kids on the block: Mr. Blueberry, Mr. Kiwi, Mr. Plum, Mr. Tangerine, Miss Watermelon, Miss Cherry, Miss Pineapple and Miss Peach. We look forward to spending time with these little ones over the next 8 weeks as they begin the biggest adventure of their lives!