The first two weeks Kiley ate and slept and Lina adapted to her new little companion. Kiley gained weight nicely, and at her two week mark had reached over double her birth weight at 34 ounces. Her weight had dropped the first day after birth to 18 ounces, then 16 ounces, then began to climb again. We took the 16 ounces as her “real” birth weight.
In the second week she had the fun of meeting the grandchildren, and it was sweet and happy bonding time for all.
At the very end of their visit, Kiley’s eyes began to open!
Now that she’s hitting her third week, I am beginning to get her used to using one particular area of the box for her bathroom. I will then move this box to the pen just outside of her whelping box, and then eventually to the far side of her pen. I’m using the Misty Method to capitalize on her natural instinct to keep her den clean. In about two weeks, I plan to introduce sod to the potty box to help her transition to using the great outdoors for her potty needs.
As she turned three weeks, we began to see much more mobility and strength in her legs. She can walk all over the whelping box, and we’ve been introducing her to new surfaces as she tests out her new walking skills. She can zip around on the carpet pad, but is still slipping and sliding on the hard wood floors and on the vinyl we have placed beneath the pen to cover the floor.
Yesterday she began to use her wide open mouth on whatever she could find! She put her mother’s fur, the side of the whelping box, and our fingers in her mouth as she explores this new type of chewing power. Her little teeth are coming in, so very soon, probably this weekend at 3 and 1/2 weeks, we will begin to introduce the first puppy mash.
This morning I watched an extended play session between Kiley and Lina. After Kiley had finished nursing, she began to chew on Lina’s neck and arms. Lina got excited, hopped up and began pawing at her as if to play. Lina is ready to have this little one be her fun playmate! Kiley was a bit surprised at this enthusiastic response from mom and didn’t know what to do next. I think it was the first of many play sessions as Lina teaches Kiley how to be a dog! She began vocalizing (barking and growling) and she seemed stunned by her own sounds.
Meanwhile, we are teaching her that all sizes and ages of humans are kind, soft, and fun. I have 4 little girls who have been visiting Kiley every week for some playtime. The first two weeks they just held and admired Kiley, but this week they had made some butterflies out of paper and string, and they played with her as she batted at the “flying” objects.
She gets cuddled a LOT. I mean a lot. She will rarely be in the whelping box when we’re all home in the evening.