Friday, April 01, 2011

A Photo Summary of the Puppies' First Day

Miss Lime found her favorite spot. 

On the way to vet's for her Oxytocin shot, Momma Elsie snuggles on Gramma Joan's lap (but only because she knows her pups are safe in the warming box covered by the red plaid fleece sitting beside her).  The warming box, btw, has an electric heating pad in the bottom covered by a light blanket (pups can't regulate their own body temperatures yet). We have a portable power adapter that makes it possible for us to plug the heating pad into the car's cigarette lighter/charger thingy to stay on during the ride (otherwise we'd use a bunch of hand/toe warmer packets for the trip).

During labor, delivery, and the first several weeks of her pups' lives, Elsie goes without a collar (otherwise our dogs are always collared and tagged). For the trip to the vet's we used a soft, tubular basic slip-lead.
I'm constantly amazed at canine intuition. Elsie was delighted to be at the vet's (oh boy! more best friends!) and seemed unconcerned about her puppies. She seemed to know we were all there to help her.

In less than an hour after receiving her shot of Oxytocin (a labor inducer), Elsie whelped the last two pups, Miss Pink and Master Yellow.  In this picture, the gang's all here!
Elsie, as she has with her previous two litters (this is her third and final litter), is proving once again to be a fastidious, appropriately gentle, attentive mother. She is, in fact, what some breeders call a "SuperMom" -- the best kind of dam you can have. :) 

Puppy faces, one day old. (l to r: Masters Blue, Yellow, and Red)

The best thing to see when looking at a whelping box (and the best indicator that all is well) is contentment (both from the dam and from the litter).  And that's exactly what we have. Yay!  Everybody so far is doing fine.

Momma Elsie needs to eat, too, but is reluctant to leave her pups for anything but her own pottying (and then only when she's desperate!). We, of course, are delighted to pamper her.  So, yes, we bring the food to her right where she is. During this special time she reverts to puppy food (for the extra nutrients and calcium) over which we pour slightly watered down puppy formula (partly for added fluids, partly for the nutrition).  Sometimes we'll give her a treat (like cottage cheese), and about every hour or so we offer her water, too (and ice cubes).  A happy healthy momma is the best thing we can give the puppies. :)

Little Miss Lime sure likes snuggling on Elsie's paws (we routinely see her there).


As the pups' front legs strengthen, they're more able to climb over each other, so now we're seeing the first hints of the infamous puppy pile! 

You'll be glad to know that all the pups have gained weight, are plumping nicely, and all have developed lovely coat shines.  All are quite vocal, too.  Ai yi yi yi yi yi!

I should have a few short videos up for you shortly, so check back in a little while.

All is well.  :)

'Til next time,


Monika Smith said...

Gorgeous puppies Joan, glad they are all here now and doing well x
Well done Elsie and your human helpers!!

Penny said...

Aaaaw, I want puppy cuddles!

Maybe Miss Lime is shy and thinks you wont be able to see her if she cuddles up between Mom's legs :)

Anonymous said...

love it..I think Ms Pink clings to momma cause everyone else is so dark in color..she can't see but maybe they smell different, who knows. So sweet. thanks for sharing

Lorraine said...

Lovely, lovely! Seeing all your beautiful labs makes me want another one (we have 2). What a super lab Mommy you are.

JuliaR said...

Congratulations once again. You are all doing fabulously!

Charlie said...

I love all the pictures, but especially the ones of Miss Lime on Elsie's paws!
- Anne

p.s. Do they have puppy breath yet?

Rita said...

Looking at these gives me very similar if not the same feelings as when I deliver babies... it is always such an amazing feeling to see new life! (often wish to have a dog again, but wouldn't be fair on him ; I travel too much)!

Together, the different Life forms make a Great Team!