Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Elsie's Ready for a Change!

So, whatcha think? Does Elsie look like she's ready to be done with this nursing business?

The poor girl is getting more and more reluctant to hang out with her kidlets. And she's far less insistent about getting into the puppy pen to nurse them.

She'd rather hang out on her own:

Yes, we're staying on top of the puppy claws (keeping them short so they don't tear her skin), but we can't do a lick about those puppy teeth. Ouch. For the first time, I actually saw Elsie discourage a pup from nursing (nudged him away). That's a sure sign she's ready to wean them.

She's very much back to being our girl again (as opposed to being the pups' mom). She SO wants to train and play and romp with the big-dog gang. And she SO wants to snuggle with us (something she's done all along this time).

Her aerobic stamina isn't quite the same as the others right now (nursing really takes a toll), but she's retrieving wonderfully. She does tend to slow down when she gets close to DH as she returns the dummy to him (I'll bet those teats hurt when she runs!). But that's okay. We'll cut her a break. She can run slow (she's earned the privilege!). ;o)

She is such a good mom to her pups! And she hangs in there even when she's reluctant. Sometimes she looks at me as if to say "do I really have to go in there and let them chew on me again????" Poor girl.

The pups are up to three solid meals a day plus 3 nursings. We'll increase to four solid meals and two nursings over the next couple of days. By early next week (after 5 weeks of age, while in their 6th week) they'll be completely weaned (yay for Elsie!). Maybe even sooner. We'll see how it goes.

In the meantime, we've provided the pups with a stuffed-fleece bed shaped like a deflated beach-ball. It's kinda like a bean bag chair without the beans. And they love it:

Mr. Black has claimed it as his own (hehe... the little pipsqueak!):

But the others enjoy it, too (that's Mr. Blue on his back sound asleep under Mr. Lime)!

What a snuggly bunch they're turning out to be. :o)

If only we could bottle this short season of puppy-hood, eh? But then we'd never get to enjoy them as the wonderful adults they become (we just have to get them there!). So we'll treasure this season while it lasts, looking forward to the next, knowing that both have their rewards.

'Til next time,

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