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Puppy Rearing Log: Feeding Puppies

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Day 13: Red male: "Hey Mom, did you leave any for me?"
Day 16: Because Atalanta's milk supply had been marginal and the pups were really rough when they nursed, I looked forward to the day when the pups were old enough to lap food. When the red male started licking my hand, I figured he was ready to lap milk. I put some goat milk in an ice cube tray, warmed it by setting it in a shallow pan of hot water, and put it in with the group of pups that included the red male. If only I'd had a video camera running...

Red male dived in, literally. He stuck his head in one cell and plunged to the bottom as if he was bobbing for apples. And he stayed down there like he was trying to grab one. Fortunately, some ancient reflex prevented him from inhaling while his nose was submerged. He came up for air, took a few breaths, and dived right back in again. He emptied one cell this way.

Green male lapped some, stopped to think about it, lapped some more, stopped again to ponder, "Is this really how food is delivered?" He eventually finished the most of the contents of one cell.

Purple female started lapping from the top and lapped until she finished about half a cell, at which point she backed away and promptly dozed off. (I had gone out to run a few errands and found Atalanta with this group when I returned, so purple female might have been full.)

Green female, the one with her mom's total focus (on food at this point in her life), calmly started lapping milk and continued until she reached the bottom of the cell. She acted as if she had been lapping milk for weeks. When she finished the first cell, she shifted her attention to an adjacent cell and calmly, deliberately proceeded to empty that cell.

Day 16: Because the cells in the ice cube tray were so small, I fed milk in a shallow ceramic dish the next time.


Updated 11 May 2003
Copyright 2001 - 2003 Adele C. Monroe
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