Pupdate – Eyes opening and trying to walk for the first time

Written by: Isobella Ash

This week Jane tells us how the puppies have been learning to walk the walk and talk the talk. Slowly day by day they are opening their eyes, learning how to yawn and are starting to get a little too big for Mum Bunty. Take a look below at what these little bundles of fur have been up to this week:

Over the course of late last week and the weekend, the puppies started to stand and try and walk. Not much success at first it was very, one step forward, one huge rollover having lost balance, but still, they try again and again. We have something to learn from that, sometimes humans are quick to give up. I once read somewhere that a winner is a loser that tried one more time. It was attributed to David Beckham, I don’t know if the source was accurate, but if so, David I salute your wisdom!

Each day they have got better, slightly more co-ordinated and are starting to be less new-born pup and more tiny Border Collie. They have started to yawn and one, a boy, likes to sleep upside down. Whereas before they always slept in a puppy pile, they are more spread out now and will divide off into groups to sleep. The other day they split into girls v boys, the boys were in a pile, the girls neatly lined up in a row. One thing they do all like to do is sleep under something. When I come back to check on them they will all have got under the fleece in the whelping box or the small puppy bed I have in there too.

puppies cuddling
Boys are bundled into a pile while the girls have lined up in a row to sleep

We have trimmed puppy nails; they were growing well, and it makes it uncomfortable for Bunty at feeding time. I could see that she was ever so slightly beginning to grin and bear the feeding frenzy, which quite frankly is now more of a mugging than the gentle vista of mum and pups happily feeding.

Mr Martin and I discovered that nails were definitely a two-person job. We used human nail clippers, the sort your parents, in our case, grandparents used to use. I had some left over from when my parents passed away and I had to clear out the house. I don’t know why I kept them, except that in some funny way they reminded me of them and my childhood. Sterilised, they came in very handy and easy to use. It also brought a tear to my eye that my parents were in some way involved in this life experience. They would have loved being part of this.

Then came the moment I had been waiting for and eyes opened. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not wishing a second away. It has and is the most wonderful thing I have done with my life for quite some time, but the thought of seeing eyes, which tell you so much about a living being, was almost as hard to wait for as the birth itself. And when I say “then came the moment”, it was more of a gradual opening over a number of days.

Sleeping puppy with long nails that needed to be cut

Mr Martin was first to say that he had seen the blue colour of one of the girl’s eyes. All eyes are blue when they first open and only change to their adult colour as time goes on. Each day more eyes have opened, getting wider and you can see them starting to focus their view. This has changed their face; they are really are coming on a pace and it won’t be long now before we have to round up the pups. Gee, I think I could do with a Border Collie to help me with that, oh wait, I have 5, I should be ok 😊

Mr Darcy has been in a few times to see them now, he pears around the end of the whelping box and is amazed at what he finds. I usually tell him “they are your puppies” to which he looks horrified and leaves sharpish. No hope of Daddy Day Care currently. Great Aunt Grace has also been in to see them, although I have a suspicion that she is just looking for any unclaimed food. She looks a for a moment and then wanders off.

In the meantime, Mr Martin has selected and purchased a pretty collar for his girl. He hasn’t chosen a puppy yet, but the pale blue daisy covered collar is so sweet and completely his choice. If he ever reads this he will be mortified. I am definitely not chuckling to myself, promise!

I too have selected a collar, plain pale blue, for my puppy, again no choice made as of yet, and I have bought a little toy ring on a rope – I couldn’t resist. I have 3 big boxes of toys, carefully packed away after each of my previous puppies and taken out and washed for the next arrival. This means there is a rhino that was Grandads, a fox that was Dads, sheep that were Auntie Connie’s and so the extensive list goes on. I like the thought that they are handed down the generations and I can’t wait to get them out again.

I am starting to turn my thoughts to weaning. Bunty is doing a fab job, but 8 hungry growing pups is a lot to ask. I am feeding her loads, increasing portion sizes as time goes on and the demand for milk hits its peak.

I also need to start to think about the worming programme for the pups. I am using a liquid wormer, one I have historically used in the past. I know that I end up with more on me than in the pups, so I have started looking at forums and asking friends how they achieve this. At the moment the front runner is to make up some puppy formula and add it to that. I might add in some slippery elm to help tums and a bit of honey to make it tastier. Next time I will let you know how that went, cross your fingers for me.

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