Wiggles came into the CHS as a transfer from a rescue in the Yukon – young, scared and pregnant. Knowing the best environment for a mama dog to give birth and raise puppies is in a home situation, our Foster Coordinator quickly began her search for the perfect temporary home for the small white dog. Long-time foster parent Susan (and occasional CHS blog contributor!) offered her home and will be caring for the pooch family for the next several weeks. She will be documenting her foster adventure in a weekly series, Wiggles & Co. Check out Wiggle’s first, second, third and fourth weeks in foster!
Puppies can scream!
They were two weeks old on a Thursday. By Friday night Wiggles and I were cowering together on the couch behind the whelping box. What has happened here? Who are these banshees? The day before they were making cute little grunts and growls….oh what a difference a day makes. Wiggles and I would both carefully check each screaming pup to have them just fall asleep on us – nothing appeared wrong with any of them – they were just discovering their vocal chords.
They are also developing their motor skills at a rapid rate; when Wiggles enters the whelping box now she is seemingly attacked by a voracious school of wobbly piranha. She gives them all a good cleaning then just lays down and “takes” it. She is swarmed by this noisy pack who have now started a very noisy feeding frenzy. After a few minutes Wiggles will decide that feeding time is over and just stand up – usually with a puppy or two still attached – she will exit the whelping box and they “fall off” – it makes me shudder every time but no harm has come to these little chubbies.
I will turn the TV on at times to help condition the pups to the noise and changing light – I have sensed that Wiggles has not had much exposure to it either. Anything on BBC Canada will put her to sleep (except Top Gear) – she listens attentively to the evening news and most documentaries but is definitely NOT ready for any of the animal based channels – tuning in to them is just asking for trouble at this time.
While we are watching TV I decided to introduce Wiggles to being brushed. She is not really sure what I am doing to her but is getting better at sitting still for longer periods of time and tolerating it. I did lose one of the small brushes but found it later behind the couch – half eaten.
I was given various toys to place in the whelping box to get the pups used to different textures and sounds. This would work great if it wasn’t for the fact that their mother thinks all toys are for her to play with so she steals everything and squirrels it off to various areas of the house. We did have a little chat and now she leaves the toys for the babes – well, except for a few of her personal favorites.
Kirsty came later in the week to trim the little razor blades each pup had on the ends of their paws. I would hold a puppy and she would carefully snip each nail. At one point she laughed and said: “Seriously? Stay still!” It was only when I made eye contact with her that I realized she was not in fact talking to the puppy I currently held.
As their third week on earth ended they were given their CHS names. Based loosely on the theme of the Yukon (where their mom is from) and in birth order:
Polar (Male) Chinook (Female) Aurora (Female ) Dawson (Male) and Laika (Female)
I believe I can hear howling and…..oh no…..barking?
Wiggles and her pups are currently not available for adoption as they spend the next several weeks growing, bonding and receiving lots of TLC in foster! Stay tuned for more blog posts on their progress in coming weeks! We will also be sure to post when Wiggles and her pups are available for adoption at Calgary Humane!
Interested in becoming a CHS foster parent and having foster adventures of your own? Learn more on our website today!