Monday, March 31, 2014

Take A Peek...There's A Big World Out There!

It is always exciting when pups start to open their eyes!  Without even looking too closely, we can tell when it is beginning. Up until that point, the pups have been scooching around on their bellies, but then one day, they will just raise themselves up off of their bellies and they will stand up. They totter about on unstable legs, sometimes freezing when they spot something looming a foot or so "in the distance". 

Puppies are born with their eyelids and ear canals tightly shut as the eyes and ears themselves are still developing and extremely fragile. Exposure to very bright light might possibly damage the still delicate photoreceptors and optic mechanisms. Relative silence is important for the developing ears since sounds 
involve changes in pressure that mechanically move structures in the mature ear. 

At just over two weeks of age, "The Brownie Bites" are checking things out

"Fudgesicle" is looking for that large furry shape he will soon identify visually as his Mama

"Twinkie" is standing watch for signs of  Breakfast on the horizon

When their eyes first open, puppies can see light and movement. However, they lack the ability to see details, since their corneas have not completely developed. Neither have their irises developed their (typically) brown pigment. All puppies have bluish eyes for this reason.

Stella's lovely "Fiona" surveys her new world

Not all pups open their eyes at the same time, but usually by 16 days they have opened

"Bridget" is trying!

From birth, the pups' keen senses of smell and touch help them locate Mama and the breakfast bar. The Brownie Bites are particularly gifted in this capacity...

Puppies make sucky slurpy sounds when they nurse. Once their ears begin to open, the sounds of breakfast attracts the other pups to come and nurse

Mama Brownie is doing a fantastic job of feeding these growing furballs, and she has to eat 5-6 meals a day just to keep up

"Roisin" ('Ro-Sheen'), Our little Irish Rose, has found a soft warm pillow

Catriona jostles for a good position

For the first two weeks of life, puppies sleep nearly 90 percent of the time, spending their awake time nursing. All their energy is funneled into growing, and birth weight doubles the first week.

Brownie-bite Fudgesicle working on a "Personal Development" power nap!

It makes sense to wriggle cautiously along on your belly when you don't know what's out there--Much less chance of accidentally falling off of a cliff!

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