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Monday, October 23, 2006

Another Litter with Two Moms?

Well, a fun weekend was had by all and this post has two overlapping sections :)

Part One:
I've been gradually catching up with sleep in bits and pieces (generally less than four hours at a time), and trying to get caught up on some of the email that has amassed over the past month or so, when I'm feeling somewhat coherently awake -- I am, alas, quite a bit behind still. Thus it was really great fun and a change of pace when some friends came to visit Sunday to meet and inadvertently help us socialize the puppies (that's serious work in case you didn't know! lol).

Right after their visit, we left for Apple Hill bringing Ruya along. She enjoyed the ride and hung out while we waited in long lines at various checkouts as we purchased our annual fix of goodies from apple harvest. She was very calm and sweet, and politely accepted a lot of petting including gentle pats and playful pokes from children who were a fair bit shorter than she. Everyone there was very courteous and asked if it were okay before petting. There were other dogs on leash to meet too, spotted doxies, a cute Bernese Mountain dog, shelties, various poo mutts, and others. She seemed interested mostly in the tiny dogs and would go on alert to gaze at them (are they puppies? she must have wondered). She was indifferent about most other dogs. She seemed to impress a lot of people and we answered the standard FAQs on breed ID, what do they do, what is her name, how old, where do they come from, etc. It was great fun!

We didn't get home til dark and with James driving, poor Ruya and I were literally drooping in our seats with fatigue from the long day (both of us had been awake before dawn). It was funny to see she didn't want to lay down to sleep during the ride but had her eyes closed and neck drooping as she snoozed and sometimes startled herself by flopping against the back of the car seat. Rinse, repeat!

Part Two:
The weekend was also part of a progression in an ongoing and smooth effort to get our Anatolians ready for when we move the puppies outside where they will live until they go to their new homes. Mama dogs don't always want all the other canine pack members to socialize with the young babies too soon, but in time it becomes okay and this is what we are working on.

The puppies learn to be more respectful of others and to have more self control when they learn pack behavior from an early age. As they get bigger, they become more aware of how their behavior exacts a certain response from other pack members and humans too. Putting them into homes before they are 7 and 8 weeks old, takes away from this experience and in companion homes, forces the people to reinforce rules that adult dogs would have nipped in the bud. Respectful behavior when they go to their new homes is a plus, considering the sizes that they will quickly reach!

One of the puppy girls will be staying here with us although we aren't certain which one yet. :)

Well, Ruya has been parking herself just outside the front door, listening to puppy sounds for the past week. Her mother Zor is very protective of her babies, and why not? They are only two weeks old just this weekend. However, Ruya has demonstrated some of what can only be described by me as yearning behavior. If she is given a treat from outside the door where she can hear the puppies, sometimes she just holds the treat and doesn't go off to eat it, but gazes longingly at the babies in the living room and sometimes whimpers because she wants to be with them. Sometimes she politely puts the treat down and sits up gazing in the doorway. If Zor sees her daughter looking in, she lowers her head and glares. Ruya respects that but the longing doesn't go away so easy. She sleeps right outside the door. :)

Ruya was born in Zor's first litter so Zor's always accepted Ruya as a family member -- so gaining acceptance isn't going to be difficult. Daddy Boone will probably have a harder time gaining puppy visitation rights as quickly.

On Friday night, I finally invited Ruya to meet the babies while Zor was on bathroom break.
Kissing puppies
Ruya nuzzles her half sibs Friday night. One of the young males paws at her.

She didn't step in with the puppies but nuzzled them and washed a puppy or two.

We've always thought that Ruya is most like her great grandmother, Sabah. She's got that same style of comportment, similar leadership qualities, confidence and general behavior that we remember so well. She is more like her great grandmother in temperament than like her mother. In fact, she isn't like her mother much at all except for what appears to be good mothering ability which all our girls have had!

Litter with two momsWhen Sabah's daughter Bertha had a litter, when she had a chance to meet Bertha's new babies, she fell in love at first sight. She had already had a couple of litters so she certainly knew those puppy sounds. Bertha was out taking a bathroom break and didn't know her mother was with her babies. Sabah laid down and nuzzled and cleaned the babies, before we let her out and Bertha came back in. After a couple nights of this, Sabah began lactating. And at one point was nursing the pups while Bertha was on a bathroom break away from the babies. So we ended up with the scenario at left, when Bertha came back. Both mom and daughter cared for the litter of nine, from that point on.

So when this scenario below happened Monday morning (today), it wasn't really that surprising! Is it a start in the same direction?
Cute puppies
Ruya explores the puppy pen.

While Zor was out on bathroom break, Ruya came in and carefully stepped around and settled down in with the pups. She curled into a maternal cupped shape and moved her hindlegs away to accomodate the seven puppies as they sought to nurse from her. They worked on her so convincingly that I thought she might be lactating already. I checked and found that she is producing a liquid, although it can't be called milk just yet. :)

Puppies converge to nurse on Ruya.

A motherly *kiss* if you can make out that tongue. Aww...

It's nature but still, it is amazing and sweet.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 10/23/2006 03:19:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Blogger ZaltanaAnatolians sent us a woof // October 23, 2006

Ruya looks so gentle the way she interacts with the puppies, and now I can really make out that liver colored puppy. I will be curious to learn which one you will end up keeping   

Puppy Boone says: Let's chat!

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