Today in My History2000: Anniversaries
2001: Congratulations--You're Not Dead
2002: One Lump or Two
2003: Stuffed Again
2004: The Family Thanksgiving
2005: NOW What Have I Done to Myself?
2007: Out with the Old, In with the New
2008: The Terrible Twos
2009: Things You'll Never See in Davis
It's a Wonderful Life
Books Read in 2010
"Oogy, the Dog only a Family Could Love"
Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
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Most Recent on My Thanksgiving 2010
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GIMME THAT BOTTLE!
27 November 2010
The puppies' siblings started on solids 2 days ago, when their family ran out of formula. The report is that they took to it like they'd been waiting for it all their lives. We've had puppies like that, who dove into solid food and never looked back.
Patty, Max and Laverne are so big (Laverne 3 lb 12 oz, Patty 4 lb 6 oz, Max 4 lb 12 oz -- it seems like only a few days ago when I was amazed that they were 2 lbs already!) that I figured they, like their sisters, would take to solid food easily.
I didn't want to start them yesterday, Thanksgiving. For one thing, it would be entirely too complicated to start them at my mother's, and for another, where would the cute "baby feeding puppy" pictures be then?
The puppies woke me up around 7 this morning and I decided to just give them the usual bottle and deal with solid food at the next feeding.
I mixed up some puppy kibble, warm water, a bit of formula, and some canned puppy food I had bought for Shiloh last week. Shiloh and Polly were thrilled to see all this action going on, and very disappointed when they found out it wasn't going to be for them.
I put all 3 puppies in the big cage with the bowl of food and sat back to see what would happen (see video of the day, if you're interested). Polly sat outside and whined and tried to stick her paw through the bars of the cage to reach the bowl of food.
Max discovered it first and while he didn't attack it like it was chocolate and he had been waiting for chocolate all his life, he did eat steadily at it. Patty was a bit less interested, but did work at it for a bit.
As for Laverne, she cried, she walked through it, she sniffed it, she sat in it, she cried some more but took not a single taste. I finally gave up and gave her a bottle. She sighed in happy relief.
All the puppies slept their normal amount of time. At the next feeding, I omitted the formula (on the suggestion of the other foster parent, though I've always used formula with the puppies I've weaned). Had significantly less luck this time around. Max and Patty were disinterested almost immediately. Laverne again had no interest and I gave her a bottle. I did hand feed her a couple of bites of food and she took it, but didn't want more than a couple of tastes.
Walt and I went to the theatre tonight, and when we got home, all the puppies were howling for food, so I just went with formula--so much easier. They are, however, starting to play with the nipple more and more and suck less...the suck reflex seems to be less strong now. So tomorrow I will get serious about getting them onto kibble full time. I think I'll go back to mixing with formula, which is a familiar taste to them.
I always was slow to wean...babies, puppies... I enjoy the time feeding them myself rather than giving them a bowl of food to feed themselves.
We are letting them out of the cage to wander around the floor when I start to feed them. Two explore, one eats. Can't really call these guys "toddlers," but "waddlers" fits quite nicely. They are learning how to get up on their feet/legs on the Pergo, but mostly they slide along on their stomachs.
It was very helpful to have Xena and her babies here earlier this year because I observed the mom-puppy interaction and was able to see that puppies with mothers emit a whining sound all the time too. It's not so much a whine, I don't think, as it is an instinctive way of letting Mom know where they are at all times. Max did get a little more frantic out in the kitchen all alone when he didn't know where I was. When I stood up at the door to the kitchen and called him, his head popped up and he scrambled over to me.
They are learning how to come on command.
Very soon they will be eating on their own and we will have taken the first step toward finding them forever homes. Much too soon to start publishing their pictures, of course, but weaning marks the first step.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Bri's first school portrait