Most folks realize (or have heard) that puppies are born with their eyes shut and ears sealed (we'll talk about this another time). We know they're helpless and dependent on their dams for everything.
What many may not know is that pups are also unable to pee or poo on their own, so they rely on their dams for pottying too.
How? Well, the dam (in this case, Elsie), licks their bottoms and urinary mechanisms to stimulate the poo and pee response. She licks; they poo/pee, she ingests it. This is also how she keeps her den clean as long as the pups are nursing.
Elsie happens to be quite fastidious, so we don't do much clean-up for the pups for the first couple of weeks. You can see again, though, that fastidiousness does not equal gentleness:
Better Elsie than me is all I can say! What a devoted mom! :)
'til next time,