Our entire house has turned into a gentle nest of sorts. Things have slowed down in some areas and remained the same in others, but gentle would be a good word to describe the feeling in our home right now, and we all love it.
Rhumb continues to impress me with her natural skills as a Mama. The pups have more than doubled in size now, so she does a half sit to allow them all to get under her and find a good spot before she slides into a down.
This morning she started to pay particular attention to their mouths, smelling, licking, and smelling again. In response, the little ones would open their mouths right up in a gesture for something good to come. They are just now showing the early reflex signs of accepting regurgitated food from Mama. That won’t actually happen until 3-4 weeks of age, but the reflex is there now.
I have been asked by at least a dozen people if we are doing the Biosensor, Neonatal, Super Puppy Program, for early neurological stimulation. Yes and No, and more no than yes. I always remind myself that those programs were born out of military experiments, and the first ‘super’ puppies they tried to create were put into a centrifuge and spun. There were no positive results, and yet they kept trying to stress puppies to make them superior. Superior to what would be my question. I stand by Mother Nature as having a ‘one up’ on these types of experiments.
As I watch Rhumb flip the puppies over to clean them, hold them down so she can exam them, nuzzle them to move, or encourage them to find her from across the whelping box, well, there is more learning in that than anything I can provide or a science experiment can provide, and again it is as nature intended.
If you have ever been up close when puppies sense Mama is nearby, it is a mini race, battle ground of sorts, to get to the milk truck first. Crawling over, pushing, paw in face, flipping from side to side, squishing under an arm, and through legs. From the get go, puppies are learning how to deal with frustration tolerance, sharing, touch, varying positions, persistence, and resilience should it not go right the first time. Again Mother Nature is awesome.
We as the humans who are helping out, feeding Rhumb so she can in turn feed her pups, and keeping things clean, do hold, handle, and exam the puppies. We also touch, gently massage each little body part, and allow them to smell our scent from under our chins. I consider our jobs so valuable in creating a clean, safe, and comforting environment. I want all human hands to be a source of good things, not stressful things.
They are still in the critical ‘be careful’ stage of life, and operating out of hunger, comfort, warmth, sleep. Their needs are simple and perfect. The socialization phase will start right around four weeks of age, where they will start interacting purposefully with each other and us. That is when we will start to see little personalities emerge.
We started doing a bit of lap time for the last couple of days. All of the puppies love their tummies massaged, their paws touched, and gentle butterfly touches all over their bodies. And it is the easiest time to tip their little nails, mostly for Rhumbs comfort ~ Nancy
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