Chiclet came into our lives several years ago when she was brought into the shelter with her 2 pups from a severe neglect situation. 6 dogs were found dead on their chain from starvation. 5 dogs were still alive but just barely. The day they brought in Chiclet she was emaciated and had no milk…she had given everything she had left to her 2 puppies. We don’t know if there were other puppies but these were the only 2 found at the scene. They were less than 10 days old as their eyes weren’t open yet. The pups probably would not have lasted another day.
They spent a day at the vets with IV fluids getting re-hydrated. Once we brought Chiclet and the babies home and fed her tiny meals throughout the days, she milked back up again and the babies started thriving. They were covered in lice though, so that was another trip to the vet.
They arrived in November a week after we had gotten another mother from the shelter that had one puppy the day she was brought into the shelter. (This was Chance and that is another story!) So we had 2 mothers and 3 babies living in our warm dog barn all winter.
Here are the puppies:
Chiclet weighed 25 pounds when we got her. Over the weeks and months she gained weight and nursed her babies until they were nearly 8 weeks old. We had started them on solid food a few weeks earlier but we left it up to Chiclet to tell the puppies when she was done nursing. We named the puppies Snickers and Skittles, both females. They grew up to be the most loving dogs. Gentle but a bit crazy. They loved to play with the other single puppy (Siren) that we had and they liked both mothers. It was very interesting to watch the interaction. As the puppies got a bit older (Siren was a week older than the two girls) they would actually switch mothers occasionally to nurse. A real communal situation.
Snickers found a new home with a military woman and her civilian husband but a divorce forced Snickers back to us and a friend who took her for awhile and found a home in the lower 48 with a wonderful family. She is now called Emma. Skittles was hard to let go. We had her for 7 months before she found a home with a wonderful family in Anchorage. We get updates about both puppies who are doing great.
We kept both mothers and although Chiclet really doesn’t like being a sled dog, she is one of the most gentle and kind dogs that we have. She weighs near 50 pounds now (and could probably loose just a couple of pounds!) so she doubled her weight from when she was found.