Last night I was working for quite a while to get Clue’s littlest boys (Bosco and Iggy) to nurse well. They were born in the mid-9s and were down to 8.5 when the others were already gaining. Clue’s got scads and scads of milk, which is actually the problem. Puppies have to open their mouths really wide to nurse, and the littest ones just pop off too easily. One moment of inattention and a big puppy steals your faucet.
Juno, on the other hand, has almost no mammary tissue – seriously, if you saw her you might think she was coming off a heat cycle, definitely not nursing – but what is there is mighty. Her puppies latch on and start desperately gulping almost instantly and they’re gaining ridiculously fast.
Ordinarily I end up spending several days managing each feeding to make sure the pee-weedlies get milk until they grow a little more. But last night I was pretty much fainting with exhaustion and was considering waking up a kid to spell me for a while so I could nap, and then said oh, heck, I can’t take this, and grabbed the littlest boy (Bosco) and put him on Juno.
Clue looked up and said “What the heck?” and I said “Settle, honey, it’s OK,” and like the angel she is she laid back down again to sleep. Juno went “Who are YOU? You smell like my mom, and – TYPICAL – she’s not keeping you fat enough. Well, tuck in, tuck in.” And the puppy said “Hello, gorgeous,” and went through three teats in a row until he finally popped off and passed out on the blanket. I poked him and he only groaned faintly and burped.
Since then he has gained a tenth of an ounce an HOUR. He’s at 10.1 now. And the remaining littler guy, Iggy, found that just that bit of opportunity allowed him to get the softer tissue he needed, and he started getting better and better with each feed. So now I have fourteen two-day-old puppies ranging from 10-14 oz and shiny and fat, and you can’t get much better than that.
Clue is still very aware that Juno’s got her puppy – she has let me know clearly that she sees and hears him and that she’s only tolerating it because I told her to – and Juno also knows it and is feeling quite boss about it. He may be moved back in a couple of days or we may extend the lease if it works out well; I don’t know yet. What I do know is that they’re all peaceful and quiet and I got six hours of sleep. Boo yah.