When the pups first arrived a week and a half ago, they were little. They fit into 2 large pet carriers. They could sleep in one 2′ x 2′ area, but preferred to pile on top of each other. They ate out of little cat dishes. They looked small. I could scoop one up with just one hand.
Now, they’re miniature dogs. I need both hands when I pick them up in order to stabilize their round bellies. They sleep next to each other in a 4′ x 4′ space. They’ve graduated to dog bowls with high sides. They’re growing!
I reconfigured the pen yesterday in order to give them more play space and to give me easier access for cleanup. I had so much fun, I decided to do it all over again today. I extended their pen so that they could have a designated eating area, and maybe pooping area. I know – they should not be expected to poop so close to their food. I’ll work on that. But I think it’s really important to get their pooping area far away from their bed area.
These are photos of the feeding process. First, we put down bowls of gruel. The puppies eat their fill. Then we lure mom onto the bed in the main enclosure and let her nurse half of the puppies. 10 to 15 minutes later, we make the switch. (It’s so great to have all this help.) After the nursing session, the puppies play, bite ankles, curl up on laps, and finally crash.