Six days old, and all is well. Holly is a terrific mom and the pups are always immaculately clean and well fed. She's eating three meals a day now, and thinks more often would be even better. She's also starting to linger for awhile when she goes through the family room on her way outdoors, even took the time to jump on the sofa with Ron for just a second yesterday. Boredom will be setting in soon.
This is the second time around for the EZWhelp whelping box and it's doing the job again. The rails keep Holly from accidentally leaning against or laying on a puppy. The liners that came with the box were useless and kept coming loose and getting bunched up, but the new Dry Mate liners are great. The backing works well to keep the liner flat and discourages Holly from trying to dig it up, plus it's large enough to fit under the corner legs of the rails which also helps to hold it in place. The additional bath rug is for Holly and pups to lay on, but Holly prefers to lay in the opposite corner which is not under the heat lamp and is a bit cooler. When the pups aren't nursing, they move over to the area under the light for some extra warmth.
Spots are starting to show faintly on the black spotted pups, and their face spots are already quite visible. Most of the pups will be marked like Holly with big bold markings and attractively spotted faces. It's hard to see anything yet on the liver girl, as the skin spotting on livers is not as distinct and it takes longer for the spots to come through. She appears to be more open marked (rather than colorful), and has a cleanly marked face. Every time I stop to visit the pups I roll through their coats, looking at their markings!
Pups got their nails trimmed yesterday, or at least most nails got trimmed. It takes good light and lots of patience to trim 112 nails on squirmy pups! I use a human nail trimmer on babies since the nails are so small and thin. BUT they are sharp and pointed, and very hard on mom's undersides when the pups knead her breasts to get the milk flow going. Wish it was as easy to do Holly's nails. She's been difficult about her nails, and of course I did not want to wrestle with her while she was pregnant (and my broken hand made it even more difficult). Jess trimmed her nails twice, but they look pretty crummy now, definitely too long. It embarrasses me, but so be it.
I'm surprised to still be getting puppy inquiries this time of the year, but thankfully not for Christmas pups (with one exception). Most are from people who recently lost an older Dal and are looking for a new puppy. One inquiry is from a couple who lost an elderly liver boy they purchased from us as a puppy, and are looking to adopt a sweet tempered adult liver male. Hope I can find them one!