Saturday, September 20, 2008

First Night Check-In -- All's Well

It's about 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The pups are sequentially coming up on their respective 24-hours-old milestones. All are wiggly-squiggly, warm, pink, and appropriately grunting and squeaking (sometimes sounding like quiet whale calls). All seem to be nursing well.

I just came down from sleeping a straight eight hours! I went up to lie down for a "quick nap" at around 5:00 p.m., but DH, bless his heart, didn't wake me; he just let me sleep. I didn't crack an eyelid until 3:a.m. I will say I'm a bit stiff, and still a little tired, BUT I do feel like a new (albeit used) woman!

DH reports Elsie passed two more placentas while I slept.

He also said she was really sweet about her missing pup (the stillborn). We'd set him aside to take care of, but hadn't quite gotten to burying him (he was wrapped gently in packing paper). So when Don got Elsie up out the whelping box (he'd put the pups in the warming box so he could clean out the box and take Elsie outside), she bee-lined for the stillborn, unwrapped him, picked him up in her mouth and carried him back to box. That was her baby, too! Don let her sniff and nudge him a bit, then quietly removed him from her, and then she seemed to be okay. Maybe she just needed closure.

So now she's in attentive-Mom mode, and we're in listening-and-head-count mode. Every few minutes I count to make sure I can see nine little heads. This bunch is a lively bunch. I think they were two days longer in utero than Elsie's litter last year (delivered on Day 62 instead of 60). They just squiggle all over the place! I keep finding them behind her trying to access her teats from the back side, so I just pick them up and move them to her belly. Elsie is, however, VERY careful this time around (she's an experienced dam now). She's incredibly gentle and careful with how she moves, steps, lies down, and rests. So far, so good.

Here's the gang approaching 24 hours old. Well, the first three are 24 hours old now... the rest are a few hours behind them up to a maximum of twelve hours behind.

And here's the Sweet Elsie Girl with her litter:

She's such a GOOD mom! I stand amazed at how attentive and gentle she is, though clearly still exhausted from her long couple of days.

Right now all I hear is the Happy Puppy Grunt song. :o)

And that's as it should be.

We'll be doing puppy weight checks after Don gets ups again in a couple hours (and while extra hands are still here). I'll update you again then.

'Til next time,


JuliaR said...

Maybe it's my imagination but Elsie does look more relaxed, more sure of herself in these photos, compared to her first time. And that long post about equipment, etc. is a terrific resource for so many! I can't remember from last time - does Elsie pick up her pups and move them around? The whelping box is maybe small enough that she doesn't need to. It's always amazing to me when large carnivores with big teeth pick up their tiny babies so gently and carry them around.

Geegs said...

Congratulations Joan and momma Elsie!! So happy to hear y'all are doing well.. I seriously do not know how you find the time to sit down and write such long post.. Sadie is almost 12 weeks old and I can barely find the time to log in.. :)