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ELMER'S BIG OUTING
27 June 2006
I did some research on the internet today about puppies, their stages of development, etc. I was curious about how old puppies are, generally, when their eyes open, since Elmer's still have not opened and nobody is really sure when the puppies were born.
I learned that the eyes open between 8-10 days, so that should pinpoint how old he is. This morning I can see that his eyes are just barely starting to open....little tiny slits, but not stuck together any more.
I also noticed this morning that I can now feel the beginnings of teeth under his gums, so I expect that within a few days, he will actually have some teeth.
The thing that concerned me is that I had not heard him whimper once since Elsie died. I'm so used to puppies whining or whimpering or otherwise demanding to be fed. Last night I fed him at 6 and intended to feed him again before I fell asleep, but I fell asleep in my recliner while watching TV and woke up with a start at 2:30, realizing that I hadn't heard a sound from Elmer. It had been 8½ hours, which is entirely too long for a newborn puppy to go between meals.
I woke him up. He's so cute when you wake him up because this puppy yawns...a LOT. It's like he's in deep, deep, deep sleep all the time, and when you pick him up he has to yawn a lot to wake himself up.
He still doesn't make a sound, though. He roots around and if you listen closely there are those little puppy grunts, but none of this 'FEED ME NOW!!!!!' message that all the other puppies give.
Once he's awake, he eats eagerly, finishes all he should be having, pees in my lap, and then goes back to sleep again. I have to watch the clock because I'm convinced that if I don't wake him up, he'll die from starvation before he lets me know he's hungry, though he did let out on very loud, sharp puppy bark about the time he should be eating again, and I took that to be a sign of progress.
He had his first official "outing" Sunday. We had been invited to a birthday party for Marta's stepmother. The whole family are "dog people" and the stepmother raises chows, so I knew that taking Elmer would be no problem at all. Besides, he's just a lump who would sleep the whole time, with maybe one feeding while we are there.
I had a carrier from the SPCA to put him in, more for his protection (there were small children) than anything else. But he was a big hit with the "princess set."
Ned and Marta's dog, BooBoo wasn't too sure what she thought about this little lump.
So Elmer had a good afternoon at the party, even if he didn't know anything about it. As soon as we took him out of the carrying crate and put him back in the playpen, he crawled over to a corner, rolled over on his back, and looked very content with his life.
(Be sure to check out the "Sacramento Gothic" brief slide
show linked on the left under "My Flickr." Very funny)
PHOTO OF THE DAY