Lucy is feeling better today, and happily jumped up and ran to the x-pen gate when I brought her some breakfast of rice, boiled chicken, chicken broth and pumpkin. She greedily ate it up, and then trotted outside for a pee, leaving her babes in the whelping box without a backward glance. After I walked her around on a leash in the yard for a while to make sure she didn't feel like having a poop, she trotted back into the house, carefully inspected each of the puppies to make sure no one had harmed them in her absence, and settled in to nurse them again.
Watching her climb into a box with ten scattered puppies is always good for a laugh - she almost tiptoes and is oh-so-careful not to sit on any of them. Sometimes that is quite an accomplishment, as they really do spread out all over!
Today, I will continue increasing her meat content and if there are no other digestive upsets will slowly begin adding in puppy food (softened premium kibble and canned) over the next two days and hopefully have her fully back to puppy food by the weekend. While I could add other bland proteins now, such as scrambled eggs, I've decided to keep it safe and simple - each new food can upset the balance and as long as she is making progress then she should be fine. Nutritional requirements for nursing moms don't peak until about week three, and she will be back on the recommended food long before then.
I have decided to be a control freak about visitors, though. I think Sunday wore her out, with too many people coming over to just take a peek. She was definately more relaxed and slept a lot more yesterday. Until the pups are a week old, only Sue and I will be dealing with them (Sue comes twice daily to help with changing all the bedding and brings me whatever I need from the SPCA or stores for them), and no more than one other person a day will be allowed to "take a peek" - but not to enter the x-pen or handle them.
Even next week, others won't be allowed to handle them - puppies take three weeks to develop immunity, and each new handler introduces new bacteria (and adds considerable stress to the mom, who may become reluctant to leave them even to go outside). This may sound over-controlling, since we're talking about friends I trust and care about, but I sincerely believe it is in Lucy's and the pups' best interest - so please don't be offended if I say "NO".
Now that both Lucy and I have had a good sleep, it's time to clean up the yard and do some more laundry. And it is a beautiful sunny day, so once the chores are done I will take Charley and Sadie for a walk on the beach and then putter around on the patio for a bit. Maybe, just maybe, I'll take some more puppy photos (gee, do ya think??????).