#4 is now being called Rocky instead of Rambo. It's not so much that he's an adventurer, it's that he comes up swinging. Yesterday, he honed in on a teat and was crawling full force toward his goal. The problem was, Isabelle was propped up on one front leg as she sniffed over the pups by her belly, seeing if anyone needed a cleaning, and she was getting ready to lay back down. Seeing a squish about to happen, I swept in and scooped him up when he was THIS close to the nipple. He started kicking and yelling at me. Ever been chewed out by a 2-day old puppy? He was not very pleasant. And to make matters worse, he was just so warm and snuggly, that I didn't want to let him go right away. I tried to give him reiki, but he was on a mission, I had just interrupted him, and he didn't want any part of snuggling. SHOW ME THE MILK! And it seems that every time in the last 24 hours that I've picked up a pup on the verge of trouble, guess who it has been - that's right.... #4.
It's really interesting to see these black puppies side by side at this age because you can tell that there are 3 double blacks and 3 recessive fawns, with the sheen of their coats being slightly different - you can see it in the group pics posted the first day.
Now for the biology/nutrition lesson. Lots of people reading this will already know, but for the non-breeders out there, the miracle of birth and early puppyhood is fascinating. When the puppies are born, each one has it's birthing sac and an afterbirth. The umbilical cord is attached to the afterbirth. Some mothers will clean the puppies first, others will eat the afterbirth, then follow the cord up and bite it off, and then take care of the puppy on the other end of it. It gets tricky because the puppy needs to get out of that sac, and have its airway cleaned within a certain amount of time or you could lose it. I will proudly say that Isabelle did an excellent job processing the pups and she might have even been able to handle most of them on her own, but not wanting to risk it, I did help her with the pups. In the wild, when the mother eats the afterbirth, it gives her enough nutrition and moisture to last her for several days. This natural provider allows her to remain with her pups through the first critical stages and keep them fed, safe and warm to where she doesn't have to go forage for food. Because the afterbirths looked healthy, I did allow Isabelle to eat as many as she wanted (she ate them all, God love her). As a result, she wasn't interested in outside food for at least a day. She did take some fresh water, and she has both water and Blue Buffalo kibble by her bedside. And I bring her fresh meat once a day, as well.
Puppies are born with their eyes and ears closed. And the mother emits a certain pheromone that keeps everyone calm and in a state of bliss. In fact, this is what they have harnessed for DAP, a product that they sell to keep dogs calm while the owners are away, especially those with serious separation anxiety. The mother licks the puppies clean, keeping the pen spotless so that there are no smells to attract predators. They are the equivalent of human babies that have just been bathed and powdered and have that cuddly smell, without the fear of being burped up on - lol. It's no wonder that I can't seem to tear myself away from their bedside, soaking up all that good-feeling mojo. As the puppies mature, they will open their eyes first, but they don't really see well. And that's all for now till we reach the next stage!