The puppies are gaining, but not as quickly or as consistently as we would expect compared to a smaller litter. Cat’s super power is getting the puppies to eat at a good rate. So, we put Brian to work stimulating the puppies to void before putting them back to rest. Mesa could do a little better keeping them clean so we switched the Early Neurological Stimulation cold to a scrub with a nice warm cloth. We want the pups to associate clean smells among themselves so they void out of the nest as soon as they’re ready.
We chose “The Faces of America” as a hopeful reminder of what makes the United States “us”. Our nation is truly a melting pot to rejoice. People of every kingdom, tribe, and nation coming together with all the their diversity of gifts, talents, and work ethic, all to better each of our life’s circumstances. This is who we are, fallen people who sin and stand upright. One nation under God with liberty and justice for ALL. May we all love our neighbor’s as ourselves.
I sit here contemplating what to say and where to begin. My first thought is prayer and thanksgiving. We have been very blessed to have such a beautiful litter. Although our trials are real, there is so much going on in our country and the world as a whole. Before I begin I want to pray for all of those affected by the massive fires in the west. The devastation and loss is inconceivable as I sit in my safe home untouched by the horrors. May hearts turn toward the Lord. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. Psalm20:7
This post is going to be incomplete today. Our computer crashed and is presently at the repair shop. Apparently, the hard drive passed inspection, but something is not allowing the computer to access it. Our prayer is that tomorrow the troubles are reparable and we will get to enjoy the 1,000’s of photos of our family and farm from the last seven years. Additionally, there will be no individual pictures, names and biographies of each pup as promised.
As promised we are chronicling our Puppy Culture journey. Considering the number of pups, their birth weight’s, the supplementation and the days of stress as we awaited Mesa’s milk to come, we have postponed ENS Early Neurological Stimulation. The pups all had successful nail trims today which should provide Mesa a little more comfort while nursing. The puppies should have doubled their birth weight by today, none have quite made it. We will continue to weigh daily as a part of Puppy Culture and to make sure no one falls behind.
We wait another day, expectantly wondering when the blessed event will occur. Ravine skipped breakfast this morning, fried eggs in bacon grease, I thought it was a good sign her confinement would soon end…,nope, not today. Have a good night and feel free to remember a safe delivery plea in your prayers.
Starting at 1:00 a.m. on Saturday September 3, 2020 Mesa gave birth to her first puppy. By 8:00 a.m. she was the slightly overwhelmed mama of 13 puppies. Until the last two puppies, the total was 10 to 1 in favor of the girls. One little girl was half the size of her average litter mate. As expected one fourth of the pups were tri-colored and the others are all sable and white.
Early on it was quite apparent our tiny warrior was going to need a little extra help. She was vigorous, but without putting part of the litter in a warming box alongside, she could not get to the milk bar. Little Miss Mighty had a great suck reflex and was determined to make it in this world. We wanted to help her along and began supplementing her with some stored colostrum we had for emergencies in the freezer. She quickly learned to suck on a colostrum filled makeup sponge. Before noon of her second day, she was doing great and had regained her lost birth weight. Just after I left working near the puppies, Mesa came to me in the kitchen. I followed her back to the puppies in the next room and immediately saw that our special little girl was no longer with us. We all felt grieved, but are trusting that God’s will is best.
Saturday was very physically challenging. Much of the family had gone up to meet our older sons, daughter-in-law and grandchildren for a canoe trip on the Wisconsin river. Cat and I kept rotating puppies, trying to help Mesa relax and encouraging puppies to eat the stored colostrum while waiting for Mesa’s milk to come in. Friends came alongside to bring needed supplies and help with the puppies care. It became apparent by evening that we had to make formula with the raw goat milk and begin bottle feeding. A few of the puppies were becoming dehydrated. Bottle feeding was time consuming as we tried to learn together. Some puppies were more cooperative than others and actually began gobbling their formula.
By 11 p.m. Cat, her friends and I had the puppies settled in, and off to bed they went. By the time I finished the last cleanup I only had an hour before I had to begin again. Since my proficiency lacked; by the time I fed the last pup, took Mesa out for a potty break, cleaned up the bottles and supplies, it was time to start all over. Finally, I thought I was going to get back to bed when the weather became threatening. Thankfully, Cat climbed out of bed and we scrambled to care for the rest of the animals on the farm. Lo and behold, by the time we finished it was time to bottle feed, again! After some success, off to bed I finally went for a short nap.
Church time was spent feeding puppies while streaming our service. By this time more puppies were refusing the bottle. Thank you Lord, Mesa’s milk was truly in. Cat and her friends went to town and not terribly later, the family was back at home. Life suddenly was calm. The puppies were full and Mesa felt settled with her people back.
We have not supplemented at all today, hoping Mesa establishes a good milk supply. Our early evening weighing of the pups showed gains for all. A couple of the smaller ones need a few of their more aggressive siblings to take a break so, they’re resting in a basket under the heat lamp.