Our dog's puppies were born three weeks ago today. We thought she was going to be a very good mom, as she seemed even a bit overly anxious for her 5 babies. Well, that anxiousness turned into disinterest, and she started refusing to feed them. We have resorted to forcing the issue.
We started tying Selah outside near the doghouse so she doesn't have to listen to the puppies' antics all day long. (She is our chicken killer, and cannot be loose unless the chickens and turkeys are safely in for the night. Now that we have domestic ducks and geese that come up from the lake and sleep by our chicken tractors, she will never be free to roam unless someone is with her.) I wait until the puppies wake up and yelp for food (usually every 4 to 4-1/2 hours) and then bring her in and make her to go into the box and lay down. By then the puppies are frantic and probably latch on a bit too zealously. We have to stay right by the box to make Selah stay in there and nurse. As soon as they are done we let her out and she stays outside by her doghouse.
This is not the way I imagined having puppies would be. I feel like I'm back to having babies of my own, since I have resorted to staying up until the puppies' last feeding, bring Selah in to nurse, and then take her back outside. That has been the only way we have gotten a decent night's sleep! They are usually ready to eat again by 6:00 the next morning.
I hope we will find good homes for the puppies. We don't plan on keeping any of them (no matter how cute they are), since we have discovered having 2 dogs is one too many. The boys and I feel we need to do something with Selah, because she has been a problem dog from the time we brought her home. I appreciated John Mesko's blog entry about treating animals as animals and not like humans. John was referring to animals raised for butchering, but there comes a time when pets also need to be placed into perspective. I hope we can find a good home for her.