Self-care for Mama Dog

It seems like Mama Dog also needs her self-care and… I support that. We let her choose how and where she spends her time without any constraints – it’s her home and her children, after all. I’ve been happy to see that she does her job diligently and conscientiously like the Good Girl she is, but I’ll admit I’ve been surprised at how confidently she takes some time for herself to rest.

She spends much of the day with the puppies, but after a few days, she seems to have realised that once they’re fully fed, they’re recharging for a while, and that’s her window of opportunity. She’ll spend a few minutes in the garden, or she’ll curl up in her favourite bed for a nap or spend a few minutes with an activity mat. Since Thursday, she’s started coming up to us for her usual cuddles – like she needs to recharge her own emotional battery from us, and as if she needs to “feel like herself” again.

I realise that sounds like anthropomorphising, but… hear me out. Remember that she has had a lifetime of certain activities that she enjoys and that give her life “meaning” in the sense of intrinsic motivation – for her these are things like running, jumping, searching for things.

But for the last 3 weeks before the whelping, we phased out most of those things, and the last 10 days before whelping, she clearly felt heavy and uncomfortable, and her face was one of constant annoyance with not being able to do things that she usually does. And for the past week, she’s been doing this new 24/7 job – whelping was exhausting, and  producing milk is hard work, plus she is more vigilant.

Even though I have no particular desire nor need to impose an interpretation from the human world, I observe her behaviour, the choices she makes, and facial expressions. The best analogy I can think of is that she is recharging when she can and maybe it says something about me, but I support her approach to motherhood

Even though I expected her to hover over the pups more at this stage, I would rather she is relaxed and well-rested than constantly watching over the pups.

Sleep all you need, Mama Dog – I’ll be your cushion ❤️

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