The babies now have their eyes open. They’re starting to toddle unsteadily around the whelping box (actually a kid’s paddle pool), growl and tussle (or at least mouth) with their siblings. Faith has been an excellent mother, just like her dam Possum was.
The schedule during any litter’s first two weeks, their most vulnerable period, is for me to go to bed at around 9:00 PM and get up at 2:00 AM to relieve my lovely bride. She has the first week’s day watch and I take over the second.
The purpose of the 24-hour watch is to see that nothing untowards happens, such as Mama rolling over on someone and crushing it, and to make sure that each of the babies has equal time at the milk bar. There’s a heat lamp shining on the whelping box and a portable radiator keeps the place warm for them.
We do our best to stay awake during all this time, but sitting in a comfy chair in the sun room inevitably one or the other of us doze off briefly, in my case between 3:00 and 4:00 AM. When I awoke, my entire body was paralyzed and great effort was needed to get any muscle moving.
Now that the pups eyes and ears are becoming active, we no longer have to spend all our time in the room with the pen or in the adjacent kitchen. For which deliverance we can only say, “Thank God.” We’re still very attentive to both Mama and babies, but at least we can sleep in our own bed during customary hours. I am now only just recovering from the newborns’ schedule.
We still have a long way to go, but every day the little ones grow stronger and more active. In a few weeks they’ll stop being digestive tracts with legs and start being little hellions.