Thanksgiving — giving thanks. And on the realm of puppies, I am grateful that this trio, now 5 weeks old, is developing beautifully. Soon an update more on personality development and the partnerships I’ll try to create for future service dog work.
The most significant changes from 4-5 weeks:
- Greater coordination and awareness. Creating 3 areas in their “containment system” – an area for sleep, one for play and eating (4x/day) and a 3rd for elimination — each day they grasp a greater awareness of their surroundings and are more consistently using the area where the piddle pads — changed VERY FREQUENTLY — are placed. This has brought down the laundry chore from every day to a more reasonable 2/x week.
- They were introduced to formula on 28th day — they learned quickly to go from suck to lick. Over the course of the week they went from formula to soft food to less soft food to moderately crunchy and today they were introduced to turkey and broccoli. Introducing food gradually helps them regulate their digestive systems and minimizes any gastric distress.
- They spend much less time with their mother, Franny. She goes in to nurse several times and day and once overnight, but she spends much shorter periods of time nursing them at a time (sharp protruding teeth hurt!).
The pups have grown — Tribble and Shamrock, a female and male, born first and second, have followed a similar growth pattern — from 6 to over 8 pounds from week 4 to 5; youngest sister Pixie from a 5 1/2 pounds to 7. They are solid, sturdy and gangly, entertaining a steady stream of visitors young and old. They are playing more and more with their older half sister, Summer, and developing social and emotional awareness outside of their earlier seclusion and quiet.
Anticipated changes from now to 6 weeks — adventure outside to see there is a whole big wide wonderful world out there, greater exploration and discussion of temperaments and energy levels and ideal future partnerships. Stay tuned!