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Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Y" Puppies 2 weeks old--eyes open!

The pups are starting to get a bit more active--can't you tell?  Their eyes have opened so their world is also opening up a little more as another sense kicks in.  They cannot see clearly but that will develop with age, as will their ability to hear.  They are also starting to stand up on their legs learning to walk and explore their surroundings.  One can hardly imagine them leaping and bounding as adult dogs in another year, or even joining us on our hikes in another 6 weeks!  

At this time I lean into or sit inside the whelping box with them and let them get to know me better.  I take up a lot of room so it isn't difficult for them to stumble into me and I can see their curiosity aroused at this new smell.  They test out my fingers to see if I might serve any useful purpose such as a their Mother's Dairy Bar.  But, as hard as they try, they can't suck a drop of milk out of my fingers so they eventually give up or some just fall asleep with the comfort of suckling, like a baby's soother.  

Until now their whole world has been centered around their mother for eating, sleeping and warmth.  We have respected this with only a minimum of handling; once to weigh them and a few times to move them while I change their mats on  laundry day (there are a lot of laundry days around here! :-))).  Unlike many breeders, I do not believe in excess handling, at this earliest of ages as it is clearly apparent from the reaction of the puppy that it is a huge stress for the puppy to be picked up, held in the air or placed on unfamiliar ground.   There is a time for everything and a newborn has enough to contend with for the first couple of weeks without me interfering.  The puppies show me when they are ready for the next adventures in their lives.  Soon enough they will quickly recognize me as part of their world and will be interacting with me with contentment.  They will know me and fall asleep in my hand or in my lap.  

This is such a fun time!!

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