More on Angel’s lost puppy

Mike, who was the unfortunate one to discover the dead pup, was really affected by that incident. I don’t blame him. It was so senseless, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the pup; it was large, chubby and healthy. He found himself worried each time he took the mama out to potty that he’d find another dead one. Plus, mama was doing some strange things with the bedding, seeming to be burying some of her pups in it. This was all freaking him out and leading me to assume that this mama had no clue. But a thought hit me last night: Mike and I are not responsible for the puppies’ lives – God is. We are only responsible for providing the opportunity for life to flourish.

And so today I went in to watch the pups nurse and get some video. And I dropped my story of the mama being a “bad” mama and just noticed what was happening. And I saw something interesting…The blankets were again bunched up and a puppy was in it. But I saw why – she didn’t like them being so close to the heater, (which was turned up quite high I noticed) and had moved them all over to the other side of the pen. The remaining pup was likely cold and she likely covered it up best she could. I moved all the blankets from the heater side and we’ll see if that helps her feel safer. If a pup gets over to the heater side it will have an easier time crawling back to mama. I also saw the mama licking with more gentleness.

And I saw just how the 9th pup likely died: Mama was nursing and getting really drowsy. She was half laying, with her front legs on their elbows, head up. A stray pup crawled under her armpit and settled quietly. Mama lifted herself up to lick her tail and the pup crawled toward her back. Mama settled back down right on the pup and he squeaked and quieted. She instantly noticed and lifted up and the pup crawled out. Now, consider a new mama, having spent time in ONE DAY in three places: The original yard she’d been living in for a week, a 2 hour drive to our area, and a day with Michelle in her car, then to be brought to our house to deliver 9 pups over a 7 hour period without eating anything that day (her choice, but still) and then trying to nurse a group of weak pups. She was likely deeply exhausted and if that sort of thing happened (which I suspect it did) she would have been completely unaware, not so much due to ineptitude but due to exhaustion. That is more likely the reason, and the cause of the pup’s death.

June 15, 2009 • Tags:  • Posted in: fostering dogs

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