Sasha did such a good job of telling her story in “Sasha’s Turn” that I decided to let Sasha give you her take on being a new mother. I know everybody must be dying for an update.OK here goes. “Of course you already know I’ve got a big job to do. And if you have ever had puppies you know it all starts the whelping place or whelping box or whatever you want to call it. Frankly I’m not sure what whelping means. I think it might mean a nest.”
Who cares what it is called. It is just a place humans have created to help us mama canines give birth. Long before man and dog came together we canines knew how to make our own whelping places. In fact before Mama Jo told me to get into the man-made whelping box I had plans of my own where I was going to whelp even though I did not know what whelp meant. I just knew something was happening to me and I needed to find what I call a nest.
Anyway long story short I still spend almost all my time in the whelping box with my babies even though I’m done whelping. Which by the way means birthing. Mama Jo finally told me what whelp meant. I do mainly three or four things in the whelping box which I will share with you in this post. First off I get very sleepy in the whelping box while I nurse my babies. So I sleep a lot in the whelping box.
Mama Jo told me it was Gods plan to make mammas sleepy while they feed their babies. I did not really get what she meant so she explained a more scientific reasoning for the sleepiness. She says when my babies nurse my pituitary gland, whatever that is, secretes prolactin and oxytocin and these so-called hormones make me relax, feel satisfied and then sleepy. Are you impressed with my medical terminology? Anyway I like God’s plan to make the time pass by sleeping a lot.
Another thing I do a lot in the whelping box is licking. I can’t tell you how much licking exactly but it seems I have to lick my babies throughly at least every two hours.
After my babies feed they get sleepy too.
Just like I do.
In this photo I am out cold. I did not even know my Mama Jo took this photo. Speaking of feeding that is another thing I do in the whelping box all of the time. I think prolactin must also make you patient because the job of feeding requires a lot of laying still. Mama Jo says I have an incredibly smart and healthy litter of babies. She says she has not had to give them any help at all in the feeding department.
They latch on and appear to be connected to me.
And for the most part they all want to feed around the same time.
Once they attach to me….
All I have to do is lay back and guess what? I go to sleep again. In this photo I have half my babies feeding and the other half are still sleeping. I think this is good because it gives some babies a chance to feed without so much competition.
In this photo Mama Jo is showing you how I carefully approach a bunch of my babies without laying on top of them. I curl up and kinda crouch in the corner and then lay down real carefully. With the prolactin release I eventually stretch out, relax and lay flat. Here I am repositioned and laying flat. As you can see my babies had a good feed and I am feeling super satisfied.My Mama Jo says I am a pretty girl. She wants to show off some pictures of my new babies. I said OK but I have to finish telling you all about my mothering experience after these photo’s.
Is this perfection or what?
You can already see their mellow temperaments.
Here is a group shot.They get along really well too. Which makes me happy.
Mama Jo just can’t get enough of how cute and cuddly they are.She obsesses about how they are growing.So she brings in an extra little heater for our room at night. Mama Jo says if they shiver too much they will be irritable and won’t grow as fast.Believe it or not I do get out of the whelping box. Occasionally I feel in need of a little human affection. So I crawl under Mama Jo’s desk and sit or lay by her feet.I can see my babies from here so it is all fine.
Another reason I ALWAYS leave the box is if I get to feed. Imagine that? This is how I look when I hear the food bowls clanging in the kitchen.I feel a bit privileged. The other Sundogs are fed twice a day but I get fed three times a day and the portions they give me are huge!
I usually finish up every last morsel.
I have to show you all they yummy extra stuff they add to my portion every single feed.After I eat….. I lick myself instead of my puppies. And then it is time to go outside. There is my canine Mama Maisie waiting for me. She and the other Sundogs don’t think it is very fair I get a midday meal. She tries to sniff my face before I even go out the door.Once out the door immediately everybody has to lick my face and figure out what I had for lunch Because I am the low one on the totem pole around here, even though I am a new mother, I stand quietly and take the licking.
I just close my eyes and be thankful at least someone is licking me for a change.And when they have finally finished licking me…..
I go off to do my business down on the hill.
When I come back and try to go back inside I have to pass the smell test.By Yolo. Then Mama Jo opens the door to my baby room. You would think the other Sundogs would clear the way for me but NO… guess who has to hog the entrance. I know what Yolo is after and he better not go any further. I’m not sure what I’ll do if he does because I don’t have a dominant bone in my body, even as a new mama. Finally Mama Jo let me in and I went right to my whelping box. I have a new method for feeding that my canine Mama Maisie tells me works well until you get too sleepy. It is called sit up feeding. I just have to be careful not to squish a puppy when the prolactin hits. I learn something new every day.
I’m getting sleepy.