The 'C2' Litter grows up - The early days, from birth to first solid (!) food
At first all they did was lie there, feed and evacuate
Something which went on for days....
Plessy was a very protective mother and to start with we had boards inside the 'maternity ward' so that she didn't feel her babies were threatened by the rest of the pack, gazing in. The 'ward' is a huge cage-like edifice which fits neatly into the alcove (Sorry Hope ! you had to move out for the duration !!) beside the Aga and juts right out into the kitchen. It accommodates the 30" square whelping box and leaves just enough space for the earliest ventures into the outside world, first feeding etc. They will soon learn to use the ramp. Later, of course, the puppies will be permitted to roam the kitchen (being a summer litter, the garden too) until we trip over them, swear, and bundle the whole boiling back into the bed-box (and shut the gate and lid !)
"How long will this go on for ? asks Mum" but you can see someone is already venturing towards independence although another man is lying on his back, totally relaxed.
And you guys had better make the most of this life of luxury and ease, because tomorrow the work starts !
What can she mean, what is going to happen to us ? Let's go and peer over the edge and see what lies ahead !
First things is that you will get your nails trimmed ! Your poor Mummy has a very sore tummy as it is.
And now you are going to be fed 'proper' food ! (even if you walk through it at first). Jammin' (the only girl in the litter) looks over to see the brothers trying to find their feet on the Financial Times while a human (out of sight) is steering them towards the first bowl of milk.
Not bad ! Not bad at all ! and the pups soon start lapping eagerly. Next day they had finely ground kibble added to the puppy-formula and soon learned that, although Mummy still tasted best, they could take more of what the great world was prepared to offer them ...
... EVEN if this included collars !
"Hey guys ! What ARE these things - she must've put them on us late last night ! Never mind, I can pull you around by the tags she has thoughtfully left for us and you can pull me - these could be fun !"
The collars at this stage are loose, crocheted wool, and the effect is to give them a fun thing which helps train them to a collar and lead. We can tug them just as much as they can tug each other. They will get light leather collars at about 5 weeks.
"And now I lay me down to sleep. And thank you very much, I want a brother as a bed cos I do not intend to lie in contact with the bedding.
There will be many more, exciting photos of us as we grow and have boxing matches and wrestle and explore the garden. Mum has already bet Daddy money that we will wreck her herb garden !"
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Sally & Marvin Wallis Zande Basenjis
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