Well, we're half way there!!! And a week full of major changes lies ahead.
Typically I start taking them outside when they reach week four and this litter got their first chance a day early. Fortunately I checked the weather forecast because today brought us nothing but cold and rain. And the forecast for the next few days doesn't look much better unfortunately. No rain, but cold. Too cold for pups with highs anticipated in the 50's. Yesterday though was sunny and while not particularly warm, it was warm enough for a quick outing and photo shoot.
I'll be working on photos this evening and get the pages updated.
Inside the pups are really coming to life. Pretty predictable. At times they bark at me when I enter the room. Little watchdogs in the making... They're barking at each other routinely now and not unexpected, I hear an occasional growl. Haven't seen any of them get seriously irritated with another yet but I'm sure that's just around the corner.
With mom, they're starting to get a little demanding. At times she gets in the box and mills around without taking the time to stop to nurse before perching herself atop the ottoman to torment them. Vocally they'll make their displeasure with her action known but only briefly. They're making moves like they'd like to try and climb out of the box and she rewards them by gently pushing them back down with her snout. Teaching a bit of respect maybe? She seems to be watching them with somewhat of a renewed interest now. I think she's enjoying this stage. Intrigued by their activity.
My plan for the day, prior to a revision anyway, was to get them started on their first helping of mash and from there work on the pup corral which will be equip with shavings, a bed and water station. New digs they'll call home for the next 4+ weeks. But as they say... why do today what can be put off until tomorrow. Kidding actually... I think my plan would have materialized had it not been for the nearly flat tire I found when I went out to make way for the feed store for dog food. Fortunately my kind neighbor came to my rescue with a portable compressor early enough that I was able to make it to get the food for the pooches. And tomorrow a trip to Gainesville in on the agenda for a proper repair. Knowing it's needed though, it's planned for and will get done with all the rest. As far as the pups go, once I start feeding them, there's no turning back. Tomorrow we reach a new milestone in pup rearing. Twice daily feedings which will quickly graduate up to thrice.
The photos below were taken and posted a couple days ago but apparently I failed to "publish" and they, along with a quick note, were filed as a draft. Better late than never I guess. It's kind of surprising it took so long to get a photo of all pups nursing together... in a row. Somewhat odd really. Where some moms routinely lay full and flat out on their side for the pups to nurse, Remedy it seem rarely does. Generally she's in a semi-curled position and the pups going every which way. But that's changing. They're big enough now that she's recently resorted to sitting while they nurse. Possibly makes for a better quick escape. I think she's just as ready for the mash to start as the pups are. Predictably on time.