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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I would have a post here about raising a singleton pup. Probably will update a couple times a week.

Day 0 - Brought Baby V and Allie home from the vet at about 8:30 pm last night. Man alive I can't believe how active this one is! Vet couldn't either. Said she came out of the uterus 'ready to go somewhere'. She weighed in at .9 lb ...just the right size. I was happy for that, because I know some singletons can be born quite large.

I spent the night on the couch, keeping an eye on mom and baby. Allie, while certainly not disdainful of the pup, showed little interest in her newborn, besides the occasional smell. Hopefully that will change in the coming days.

Since Allie has been spending her time in the 'whelping pool' for the last few days she settled in quickly. The pool is surrounded perfectly by a 4' tall wire x-pen, to keep her from leaving unannounced, however... at least until her incision heals up . Inside the poolI have cut a piece of inexpensive, short nap carpet to fit, and under that some obstacles made of swimming pool noodles cut in half. Just a couple here and there to help Baby V learn to navigate and climb over things. Also a heating pad for her to sleep on and keep warm, in the absence of littermates. My daughter-in-law sent a 'Snuggle Buddy' along as well, and while I haven't turned it on for a heart beat or put a hand warmer in it, I think it will keep Baby V company. If nothing else it is funny to see the difference in size between the two 'puppies'.

Baby V has had no problems nursing and Allie has no problems with her doing so. I spent one feeding pushing Baby V off of nipples, to mimic littermates trying to steal a nipple. She didn't care for that much. When she was done I spent some time stroking her and gently pushing her, as a littermate might while 'moving around'. I will do this periodically throughout the day with her. I don't think I will interefere too many times a day with her nursing, maybe for 2 feedings a day. Because of all the handling I am going to be doing with her in the coming days, I decided to forgo ENS. But I am going to do ESI - which I am excited to try and keep notes on.

I also have, at least temporarily - taken over Allie's responsibilities for cleaning up Baby V - since she has shown no interest in that 'job'. I tried the old peanut butter trick and may continue that, although it seems it has limited long lasting effect. LOL As the day has progressed she shows a little more interest in her baby. Hopefully that interest will continue to grow. But I am grateful she is not being aggressive toward Baby V, for sure.

Baby V has shown off her 'innate' lining abilities already --- taking a straight path up and over the Snuggle Puppy. LOL!!! It reminded me of the song 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough'
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Kingsland's Prairie Morrigan (Choc)
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Congratulations on the pup and nice job with all the work you've put into her and the mother!
 

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Day 5 after delivery.

Well, as most people know... at this age it is eat, sleep, poop, pee.

Baby V continues to do well, gaining an ounce a day since Thurs (she did lose some weight after deliver, to be expected). As of last night she was 14.8 ounces. She continues to be quite mobile and makes her way across the uneven floor of the whelping pool to her mom, and then back again to the heat lamp. I have placed half a pool noodle under the carpeting in the pool to provide an obstacle for her to climb over, which she does with determination. The lump often sends her off balance and onto her back, but she tries again.

Mom has just now begun to take occasional interest in cleaning her. Mostly I have taken over the responsibilities of stimulating her to pee/poop. I have used peanut butter as a means to get Allie to help in the dept and present Baby V to her regularly. She is slowly coming around in that dept. Nursing, thankfully has not been a problem. Allie lets Baby V nurse without any problems at all.

When Baby V is nursing, I push her off a teat a couple of times, just to give her some frustration.. Life isn't always easy, you know. She makes a big fuss at this, just as she would if it was a littermate doing it, but quickly find a nearby nipple to latch onto. I also spend a couple of minutes just gently pushing her a little bit, but letting her keep latched onto the nipple. Then I let her nurse in peace, as would happen when she and her littermates all got settled at the milk bar. My favorite part of feeding time is when the milk lets down and all of a sudden pup is just sucking it down with abandon. Once a day I take Allie out of the whelping pool when I see that Baby V is ready to eat again, and let her search for mom for a minute or so before letting Allie back in. Mainly I do this because with a bigger litter, her littermates might get in her way of easily getting to mom pushing her or delaying her ability to get to her food source as fast as she would like. Soon I will add some rolled up hand towels as obstacles as well. Thought about rice filled socks, as has been suggested, but I would be worried Allie would decide to tear them open to eat the rice (she is a lab, after all).

I started ESI with her two days ago, but I have decided to forego ENS because she is handled frequently by me. The ESI protocol is very interesting. I enjoy watching her nose react to the different smells. (2 so far).

Photo shows her sleeping on top of the pool noodle, like piling up on a littermate.
 

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Day 7

The last few days have seen some positive changes for Baby V. First off, I have decided to keep her, at least for the time being. Thus she has been given a name - Valedictorian's Perseverance - AKA Percy.

Percy is a very strong little girl and quite mobile, despite her 'heft' of 1lb 14oz :ROFLMAO:. She often gets up and moves on all fours,, although I think maybe her belly drags a little bit now. LOL!!! She definitely seems to know what she wants in life - whether that is to find 'her bedroom' or her mom. I believe the obstacles and uneven surface in the whelping pool have helped to keep her strong. She also makes more different kinds of vocalizations now while she sleeps which is entertaining sometimes.

Allie has completely taken over mothering responsibilities now and I am grateful for that because I think in the end it is best for the pup. I still make life a little challenging for Percy by pushing her off of nipples during two feedings a day as well as 'disrupting' her sleep, as a littermate might while wandering around. I have also taken to allowing her to eat only every three hours, removing Allie from the whelping pool as needed. The only time Percy has full access to her mom is at night, and I can usually tell in the morning!




I never realized that puppies had the 'scratch' reflex... apparently they do! :ROFLMAO:

 

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Today marks Percy's 2 week birthday. She is developing either ahead of or on schedule for a puppy her age, although I do 'wake' her several times a day to get her moving around. She has been walking on all fours, albeit clumsily, for the last several days, but yesterday and especially today I noticed a remarkable difference in her mobility, probably because her eyes are now open. She quickly recognizes the smell of my hand and makes her way toward it pretty quickly - nice to know she has developed a bond with me, to a small extent anyway. She has also begun biting her 'faux littermates' and me, and using her paws in play as well. The fun times will really commence in another week.

She is definitely a little (or a lot) chunky. 3lb 6 oz today. She is growing normally and eats like a - well - a pig, but this morning I noticed quite a runny stool which she left while mom was out of the whelping pool, so I am taking it in to the vet this morning to test for coccidiosis or ??? ...

Allie began 'full time' care of Percy about 5 days ago and continues to be a good mama to her, now that she has fully accepted parenting responsibilities. She goes in the pool to feed and clean percy and stays on her bed the rest of the time. Staples out today!

 

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Keep the videos coming. That is a CHUNKY pup!
oh man is she ever. what a tub! I can control her feeding during the day... it is at night when she catches up LOL. The diarrhea turned out to be nothing - just eating too much, the vet said. I agreed. :ROFLMAO: Starting today she is on a four hour feeding and I may just start getting up in the middle of the night and take Allie out of the pen to keep Percy from eating so much at night. This is probably the biggest challenge so far. This afternoon I spent 5 minutes picking her up and putting her 3 feet away from me and had her follow my hand (by smell). Repeated that 4 times. She's a strong pup.
 

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So cute! So roly-poly.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Percy is 3 weeks old today and the last week has seen, as one would expect, a lot of changes.
I am pretty sure she weighs about 4.5 lb or more now. Probably closer to 5lb

Development is still right on track - Her eyes are fully opened now and she can see movement of large objects like her mom or one of her larger toys. Hearing too, is evident.

At day 18 I watched her walk from her bed across the pen to pee, so placed a pee pad there. That night she went pee there 3 times and has continued to be pretty consistent with using it.
Mom still cleans her regularly as well.

She is now showing a full spectrum of dog vocabulary - howls, growls, barks, and whines. Always cute of course to hear the baby version of these vocalizations.

Day 20 was an off day for her - and I determined she is cutting some teeth. She slept and grumbled most of the day. But when she did wake up it was nice to see gentle playing between her and her mom, which is always entertaining. Allie does very well with her. I also held her in my lap last night and let her gnaw on a chicken thigh bone for a few minutes. She isn't going to be hard to wean. LOL :ROFLMAO:

I opted not to limit feeding or time with her mom - So she eats pretty much whenever she wants to - often times half heartedly lol.

One interesting thing to note is that she definitely knows who I am. My husband was holding her on the couch next to me and as soon as she realized I was sitting close to her she started trying to climb over to me, whining and carrying on. My husband then said 'and so it starts again, little traitor' lol!
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Yea you woman folk are known to steal our dogs , my wife has done it since we've been married. Your doing a good job raising this pup Tobias keep it up.
 

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I predict you may be right, Keith! LOL!!!

Week 4 update on Percy

Besides sleeping, eating, and pooping. (which thankfully mom still took care of the poop part), Percy has gotten huge. 6.25 lb as of yesterday morning. LOL! She is quite mobile now and loves to come out of the pen to explore and play with a variety of toys.

Yesterday was her first experience with solid food and she did pretty well with it, although wasn't nearly as interested in eating mush as she was in chewing on a chicken bone. LOL! I did put a 'suitical' on Allie and think it is going to help wean Percy but allow her to be with mom and get the dog interaction she needs. Allie likes to be with her, so I believe this is a win win for everyone. Percy learns that she can't always nurse when she wants (and deals with the frustration of that), I get to control feeding a little more, and mom and pup get to be with each other.

I brought Toby into the living room for a couple of visits and Percy had an introduction to a new dog. Allie was pretty chill with that and it was funny to see the three of them on the living room floor interacting with each other.

Percy has also spent a little more time with mom outside and yesterday she surprised me by climbing up the three concrete stairs (regular size) to go back into the house (I had gone inside to get my phone and found her walking into the entry) Now I will have to watch her carefully so that she doesn't fall off going the other way.. This morning was the first time I have taken her outside to pee and will start doing that on a regular basis.

photos taken at 3.5 weeks
 

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