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  • Writer's picturePuppy Talk

Puppy's first breath

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

Mama continues to whirl...more slowly now, panting, pausing and watching her hind quarters. She tears at her bedding now and again. Her tail is arched ever so slightly at its base and cocked to one side. She is completely absorbed in her ancient dance, moving to a primal rhythm only she can feel. Another whirl and then a dark bubble appears just under her tail. It grows larger until it plops onto the nest she has prepared for it. Mama stops for a breath or two and then tears gently at her little package, opening it like a precious gift.

Pop! With a gush of nutrient rich liquid, her pup bursts onto the scene. Now mom moves quickly, almost violently. She has work to do and does it with purpose and speed. She consumes the sac that nursed and protected her puppy for over two months. Slowly she moves up the umbilical cord severing it with her teeth while somehow not damaging his soft underbelly. Finally her puppy is free.

Her first task complete; she licks him vigorously with her long, rough tongue and nudges him with her nose. She tries to push out any liquid that may have entered his lungs during his journey. And she must get him warm and dry and awake. Suddenly his entire body inhales and tiny mewing begins. Surprisingly strong, his cries are a cross between a kitten, a mouse and a miniature cow. She continues roughing him up with her tongue and nose.

His mole-like body with four frail useless appendages, swims towards mom's tummy. He is all nose, mouth and belly topped off with a mouse of a tail. Eyes and ears sealed shut, the puppy cannot see or hear his mother, but finds her none-the-less. Miraculously, within minutes the pup navigates to a teat and beings to suckle. Belly heaving and caving, black padded feet pushing into to mom's warm pink flesh. His oversized head bobs up and back and then forward again as he jerkingly draws in milk with every convulsion. Mom closes her eyes slightly, breathing slowly, deliberating. She needs to rest while she can. She has many more to go. It will be a long night.

Mama dog checks on her newborn puppies (sable and bicolor coat colors)

© Lori Rodriguez and www.ctgermanshepherddogs, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lori Rodriguez and www.ctgermanshepherddogs with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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