The puppies often make their arrival late at night when the house is dark and quiet. Before birth, the mother will show signs of nesting, including looking for a quiet place and digging in blankets and towels.
We are on hand to assist as needed. Anna really shines as a midwoof. Midwoofery can include anything from helping pull a puppy from the amniotic sac to extracting fluids from the puppy’s airways. We identify the puppy’s gender, note color and markings, and record the puppy’s weight. Each puppy gets a yarn collar right away so that we know who is who.
As soon as the first puppy is born, we try to post an announcement on our Facebook page. We follow up with more as we are able. A puppy birth can take many hours, and we often get no sleep until the next day when all the puppies are born.
An emerging puppy, still in the amniotic sac
Extracting fluids to help a puppy take his first breath
Within the first few days, we choose a litter theme and introduce each puppy by name. We choose names that are meaningful to us, names that somehow connect to our lives. Once the puppies have a name, it is impossible not to fall in love with them and to see them as individuals with unique personalities.
The adorable Charlie Brown
The first weeks
As the puppies grow, we will post pictures on a regular basis. During the first weeks the puppies spend most of their time nursing and sleeping, and we try to capture some of these sweet moments.
An exciting moment is when the puppies open their eyes at about two weeks. This is also when their ears fully open, allowing them to hear. We try to expose them to a variety of sensory experiences: new sights, sounds, smells, and textures.
At four weeks, they walk, run, leap, and tumble. They are so much fun to watch. At this stage, their personalities really start to show.
It is really good for puppies to be exposed to a variety of people and animals. Our puppies get to hang out with the big dogs, under supervision. We often invite families with kids to come see the puppies. Kids know exactly what to do. They hold the puppies very gently, then play with them on the floor or outside. It never fails; a puppy always drops off to sleep in someone’s arms.
Hanging out with the big guys