Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Catching Up!

The High pups are doing great! I've posted some new photos and video on the site so click the link that says "Week 2 Photos and Video" to check them out. There won't be a lot of photos for a few days until their eyes are fully open. We limit flash photography and bright lights during this transition period so the pups' brains and eyes can gradually become accustomed to seeing the world. That's good for the pups but doesn't make for good photographs so we typically just skip it rather than post dark and blurry shots.

So much has changed in the last few days, I'll try to catch you up. Dreamer is transitioning from the hyper-protective dam to a somewhat bored, do-I-really-have-to working mom. This is a normal progression but it always surprises me how quickly the dams begin to leave the pups for longer and longer periods. She is still keeping them spotless and well fed, as evidenced by the pups' constant weight gains.

The pups are up on all four for short spurts, before falling over and rolling across the box. They are barking, scritching and scratching like older dogs, which is so cute that it's hard to bear sometimes. They can control their body temperature much more so are comfortable at 68 degrees away from Dreamer, a big change over their first few days.

Watching puppies this age is a study in contrasts. First, I am struck by how cute they are, all rolly-polly and squished faces. Almost everything they do makes me smile. But when I look deeper, I see "survival of the fittest" played out on every level. The battle to nurse is just that, a battle. It is the essence of sibling rivalry--what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine if I can get it. The pups push, shove, pry and wrench each other off a nipple without a second thought. Each pup wants to be in the middle of the pig pile so its siblings keep it warm without it using too many calories. There is no thought given to the smaller or weaker pups. Lucky for our crew, we are here to ensure everyone gets their share but I can see how the very process makes pups stronger, builds their bodies and brains, and adds that natural stress that enables them to handle stress later in their lives.

We supplement that stress by doing Biosensor activities once each day plus introducing scent items. I'll videotape a session in the next few days but this set of exercises mildly stresses the pups to strengthen their nervous and adrenal system.

We've had fun with the scent items. Tonight is a game bird but till now, we've done other items. Thus far, moss and spruce are tied for top interest items with apple bringing up the rear as totally uninteresting. I'll try to videotape a session so you can see the pups go from an unfocused week-old puppy to a focused scenting machine in a second. It's pretty fabulous to see and hear, since they end their investigation with a telltale snort.

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