Okay, I admit it! I need a course in *winkie* identification! Somehow, as I played midwife I miscounted and so, it was with some surprise when I separated the pups the other day to take photos of the boys and the girls, and discovered there are SIX MALES! I had weighed the distinctive looking ones each day, to confirm they were gaining on scale. Oh, that can't be right. I counted again. Yes, there are six teeny little boy parts, and three with none. Do you think a winkie fell off? <wry grin>
The pups are growing and healthy, fat little buggers. I have been feeding Roya multiple small meals of raw meat, egg yolk, evaporated milk,kelp, honey and cottage cheese. I'll pick up some kefir when I get to the store, and some goat milk. She has kibble and water available at all times, but really gobbles down the meat meals.
I felt so sorry for her in those first few days. There seemed not to be a moment when she was without puppies attached to her. Five finished and four were lined up in the wings. It was amazing to see one day old pups, motoring across that carpet with such purpose. They get going so fast, they tip over, fat little bellies to the sky. I stroke their sides and the little hind legs start to scratch instinctively.
As of Friday, Roya has freed herself to spend time now and then laying apart from the puppies and last night she decided she was ready to come out and play. We were doing some protection training, and she did not want to be left out! I do believe the pups had milkshakes for dinner!
Roya is a devoted mother, and is extremely accepting of visitors. She doesn't mind at all that I show off her babies, especially if the visitor is willing to pick up a retriever bumper and toss it a couple times!
So, here you have the latest photographs of the pups. In a few days, when they are noticeably larger and more distinctive I will take more photos. One of my friends looked at them and said "they're so small" when I thought, comparing them from birth, Holy Cow, have they grown!!