Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bye Bye Baby(hood)

With the appearance of all their tiny peepers over the weekend, the Roseannadannas are officially no longer neonates.

They've now entered the week of their life that has long been relegated to, in essence, "miscellaneous" or "other" or puppy limbo -- what behavioral researchers call the "transitional" period, prior to the explosion of learning and brain pruning between the ages of three to twelve weeks.

(Select little speech balloon to view captions)

As neonates, they experienced three different puppy dens and a Moses-sized wicker basket. A couple days after the first Moving Day, Rosie decided that she didn't want to give up the company of the rest of the family in order to care for her puppies. So, until they start eating solid food, they all get loaded into their Moses basket at night and come upstairs to bunk in my bedroom closet. Most mornings they get breakfast in bed -- a chance to imprint on human scent, snuggle, bump into Uncle Moe, and occasionally plop off the edge of the bed, lemming-fashion, and promptly fall asleep on the rug. Then, downstairs to the day den.

Their eyes opened precociously. They are sometimes getting their feet underneath themselves. I'm hearing proto-barks and liquid little growlettes among the squeaking, crying and puppy whale song. They recognize the existence of people and toddle closer, even climb into laps. They are great climbers; whenever I didn't provide lumps and bumps and texture changes in the puppy den, Rosie would heap the bedding into an infant monkeybars structure.

They are rather relaxed about handling. I'm still looking for that orienting reflex that allegedly "forces" a young puppy to right himself when he finds himself saluting the sky. Their reflex on being picked up and put in nearly any position is to go slack and fall asleep. They especially love being cradled.

If altricial infants can be said to "imprint," they have been imprinted on the scent and touch of human beings and the rest of their dog family, a great springboard for multi-species socialization.


  1. that is sheer cute-overload!
    and i want a puppy!

    while having been convinced i should not have any dogs. : )

    new and grown-up, they are all *beautiful*!

    thank you for sharing the journey.

  2. What great pictures and commentary. Thank you for sharing your pups!

    Puppy breath....mmmmMMmm

  3. Wonderful way to start the day - looking at puppies!

    Just love what you're doing with them, and that you're them sharing with us. :)

  4. I grew up with lots of cats and always started handling kittens very early. Consequently they were so relaxed about being held and put into any position that I used to imagine that I could swing them by their tails and they would continue to purr away. I never did put it to the test.


  5. "You are the bestest mommy in the world..." I LOL'ed. Honestly dunno how you get anything done -- I'd be playing with puppies all day, or just staring at 'em all the time with a big, silly grin on my face.

  6. How amazing - thanks for sharing this beautiful slideshow :)


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