Monday, May 31, 2010
Hearing, Seeing and Smelling!
We are three weeks into our 8 weeks adventure with Stella’s “Third Time’s a (Lucky) Charm” litter and things are starting to warm up (quite literally; we’ve very quickly progressed from trying to keep the puppies’ environment warm to working to cool them down during this current heat wave). Within that magical world of puppy development we are seeing these seemingly helpless blobs of nursing fur transform into the early form of the adorable dogs we know as Labradors.
In a span of 4 to 5 days they have; opened eyes and ears, begun “walking” on all fours, noticed humans in their world, complained about the confining dimensions of the small side of the whelping box, discovered various new items placed in the box and most recently (and most cutely) started to play with each other.
There is nothing better than seeing these little beings, still trying to make their bodies obey instructions (but not quite getting full cooperation from all four legs and those ever expanding noggins), yet beginning to “hear” the instinctive and instructive voice inside their still developing brains and jumping, tackling and gumming their litter mates without rhyme or reason but with some clear (to them anyway) intention.
The pups are also beginning to differentiate themselves starting with size and body structure, moving onto early agility (or in the male’s case, a decided lack thereof) and concluding with each pups attention scope (extending to people, items in the box, Mom’s presence, etc.). Beyond these differences we are beginning to note the pups’ relative level of energy and arousal, whether certain pups are more vocal and if we are seeing any hint of bullying behavior. Of course we are trying not to over think things yet and simply enjoying the heck out of this stage we call “puppies without razor sharp teeth…yahoo!” (Stella came up with that label).