Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12
Week One
Day One - September 28th
Lupine and her nine puppies are doing very well. They were whelped yesterday, over a 14 hour period. So we are all very exhausted here. Lupine is stepping into motherhood as if she's been doing it all her life and is being very calm, relaxed and gentle. She is reluctant to leave her puppies and we have to do a lot of persuading to get her to take short breaks. As soon as she's back in the house, she runs to the whelping room door (our spare bedroom) and whines to get back in. She has eaten a few small meals in the whelping box today.

Once again, we maintain an around-the-clock-vigil with the puppies, sleeping (or trying to) in the room with them so that we can quickly rescue any pups that get into trouble (such as getting stuck behind Lupine).

The puppies were weighed and identified (with tiny haircuts) as they were born.

Here they are:

Born 5:21 am #1 black male puppy (clipped on left shoulder)

Born 8:14 am #2 liver male puppy with very tiny white stripe on his chest (left ribcage)

Born 8:25 am #3 black male puppy (left flank)

Born 11:04 am #4 black male puppy (back of neck)

Born 11:53 am #5 liver female puppy (mid back)

Born 12:53 pm #6 liver male puppy (base of tail)

Born 2:32 pm #7 black female puppy (right shoulder)

Born 3:30 pm #8 liver male puppy (right ribcage)

Born 7:10 pm #9 liver female puppy (right flank)

We weighed them first thing this morning and they all maintained or gained weight (some have had more time to gain weight that the others!). They are all nursing heartily and they look, sound and feel very healthy. We are hoping that they will stay that way, but the first two weeks are always the most precarious ones for neonatal puppies.

Sleeping newborns snuggled up against Lupine
Lupine with four of her puppies, partway during the whelping process.
Day Two - September 29th
The puppies are already significantly more mobile than when they were born. They are now motoring around the whelping box (well, OK, maybe "motoring" is a bit of an exaggeration). They are also able to climb quite far up on Lupine now.
Today their umbilical cords are falling off.

Lupine continues to be an exceptionally devoted mother. Liz managed to get her outside for a whole 5 minutes this afternoon and while her back was turned, Lupine hopped into the wading pool! It must have felt good after spending so much time in the warm whelping box. She has been a bit fussy about eating, but her appetite should return to normal soon. Today we fed her a cooked meal in an attempt to stimulate her appetite. She ate that and she is also happy to eat as many pumpkin cookies as we offer her! Lupine also gets frequent energy drinks of goatsmilk yoghurt, water and molasses.

Can you find all nine puppies? The whole crew at two days old.
Day Three - September 30th
Lupine is a little more active today and has been planning a move. She is checking out possible den sites in the house and outside. If we don't keep close tabs on her when she's outside, she starts digging a hole. The good news is that her appetite has increased and she has eaten several good meals today.

The puppies continue to do very well and they have all gained several ounces since birth. They now weigh between 14 and 18 ounces. They spend their day sleeping, eating, making cute noises and going on the occasional crawl around the whelping box. Their tails have started to wag while they are nursing. The big chore this evening will be to cut everyone's nails....all 168 of them! Puppy nails grow so incredibly fast.

Puppies sleep in the strangest positions sometimes
Sleepy Saturday morning in the whelping box.
Puppies in a rubbermaid tub (while the whelping box gets cleaned out)
Sleepy Saturday afternoon in the whelping box.
Days Four & Five
Things continue to go very well and we are gradually feeling a little less sleep deprived. We still end up getting up several times in the night to check on the puppies, make sure the temperature in the whelping box is adequate, let Lupine out and give her a snack and drink, but as the puppies get bigger and more robust, there is a little less to worry about.

With their growth, the puppies also are becoming more mobile. Although they cannot see or hear, they are now very good at noticing when Lupine steps into the whelping box and they start to wiggle and crawl around, using their noses to find her. Weight gain continues to be good - all of the puppies weigh at least 1lb now and two of the puppies hit the 1.5lb mark on Sunday (#1 & #8).

Lupine still spends most of her time with her puppies, but she is taking slightly longer breaks. She continues to be an excellent mother.

We have a couple of large plush candy canes that the puppies just love to snuggle up against.
Puppy #1 fast asleep on Lupine's paw. Note the freshly trimmed nails!
Nine Lives, at the end of their first week.
WEEK ONE DRAWS TO A CLOSE: We ate, we slept, we grew.....