As folks who casually read this journal, or anyone anywhere who’s seen my Twitter feed, is no doubt aware, shortly before Christmas we had a litter of standard poodle puppies. zaiah‘s dog Emma had seven teensy little puppies, three brown and four black…and by “teensy little” what I mean is “approximately the size of a monster truck.” To this day, it still boggles my mind, and creeps me out a bit, that she was able to store them all inside her body. (To be fair, though, there’s quite a lot about biology that I find somewhat disconcerting, the less said about that the better.)
I love kittens. I am very happy to have a life through which kittens pass on a regular basis. I do have to admit, however, that it is at least theoretically possible that tiny little puppies might–just possibly might–be even cuter than kittens.
The proud father found the whole thing quite fascinating. He’s actually been a pretty good dad so far, albeit in fairness the bar is set fairly low; in dogs, “being a good father” seems to stop at somewhere around “not eating your own young.”
Newborn puppies are quite possibly among the most helpless forms of multicellular life ever given birth to by this fantastic universe They come factory-equipped with only two abilities, “eating” and “sleeping.” And when I say those are the only two abilities they have from the start, I’m not kidding; “breathing” isn’t a capability installed at the factory (it takes a bit of work to get them to do that when they’re born,” and neither is “peeing” (the mother has to prompt them to do that after they feed–like I said, biology is disconcerting).
However, the sleeping is very sweet. The snuzzle up against whatever warm surface is available and go all limp, and when they sleep, they dream.
They turned out to be rather a lot of work; for the first several days of their lives, they needed to be tended to and to feed every two hours. Since I work from home, it fell largely on me to take care of them; for about three or four days, I set my alarm to go off every two hours on the spot, and slept only in snippets between. In the wild, of course, dogs don’t have human beings to look after them with this kind of diligence; but then again, in the wild, a dog might have a littler of eight or ten pups, two of which survive.
There are lots and lots more pictures and commentary below. Click here to see more pictures of puppies and go ‘Aww!’ a lot. Caution: Management not responsible for diabetic attack.