Things are changing some at Puppy Central because the puppies' needs and skills are different. As I mentioned yesterday, Dawson figured out how to escape the whelping box. This means that the front flap -- which is usually down -- has to be up to prevent the puppies from getting out. This makes it harder for Halo to get in the box and requires that she jump in. Halo is a fine jumper but she does not want to land on a puppy, and the puppies mob wherever she is looking in for a landing spot. So, this means that she needs help and consequently I am now getting up more at night to clear a spot for her to jump in the box and feed puppies. I am glad Halo is so careful but I also like sleeping -- having a litter means one gives up a good night's sleep for a long time!
Having a litter also means LOTS of laundry! I like puppies to be clean and their living space to be clean, and so we go through a lot of fleece, towels and washcloths every day. They are peeing more now so the laundry demands have increased as well. I am doing about 3 - 4 loads of puppy laundry per day.
Finally, having puppies means screening potential homes -- my least favorite part of having puppies. It is not that I do not enjoy meeting new and wonderful people but not everyone is a good fit and I hate disappointing people. It is also a lot of responsibility to place puppies, and that is emotionally hard. Sometimes it probably seems like having a litter is all fun and cuteness -- but that is just not the case. Yes, it is fun and they are adorable but it is also not enough sleep for two months, not enough time to get everything else done, a lot of worry and stress, and the burden of trying to ensure the puppies have great homes for the rest of their lives.
But they sure are cute -- and thank goodness for that!!! The teeth are coming in but they do not have enough jaw power yet to inflict damage. They are very active and playful and so I decided we needed a new space for them. Yesterday I went and bought a 6 x 9 piece of flooring to protect the wood floor, and I also got a new 24 inch high x-pen so that we could make a puppy play area in the Great Room. It gives a lot of space for puppies and also for visitors to be able to sit and cuddle puppies. I have included a picture of this new area so that you can see what I am talking about.
Galen reports that yesterday two puppies wagged their little tails at him. They are very social and like to crawl in laps, but with their developing senses they are also easily overloaded and sometimes startle if you move too quickly at them. Consider that in less than a week their world went from dark and silent to bright and loud -- it is actually kind of amazing that they do so well with such an abrupt transition. The startling goes away quickly and is just a reaction to their developing abilities to integrate all the new sensory information coming at them.
We look forward to visiting with Armand, Cali and Kate this weekend and we just found out that we are having more visitors arrive Saturday evening -- I will tell you about them tomorrow. I also hope the visiting camera arrives soon!
I took today's pictures this morning after the puppies had nursed and were playing in the new play area. As I mentioned, there is a picture of that play area. The single puppy is Sula and the other pictures include a variety of puppies. I love the way their ears get so soft and wavy!
One of our puppies has made it to the big time! Dawson is featured on today's Berner-l homepage with his cousin, Cadi: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Berner-l/
I hope that you have plans for a wonderful weekend -- thanks for visiting us!