Click on the video ... to see an expert mother at work.
Can you imagine what a baby puppy is sensing and feeling ?
Baby puppies simply amaze me.
They are born blind, wet, and trapped in a sack. Without help, they would surely die. If they miraculously escape suffocation as they're smothering in fetal membranes, they would expire rapidly and miserably from hypothermia.
Enter their savior, their mother, who strips away the fetal membranes occludes the hemorrhage from their fragile umbilicus and provides cleaning, warmth, and lunch.
What do they think, feel, sense ???
- When they go from cozy to chill?
- When they take their first breath with saran-wrap over their muzzle and nose?
- When they feel a wet rough tongue disturb their peace?
- When they reach a high from pheromones emanating from mother's breast.
What are they feeling? Do they sense and feel things like we do?
At this age, they, appear to have a big buffer built in. They are oblivious to noises and environmental changes ( almost anything that would get our human adult attention). A book dropping, the other dogs barking (sometimes fiercely when a doorbell goes off) is a non-event for them.
On the other hand, a tactile stimulus: me picking them up, mother touching one as she enters or leaves the nest, mother licking them; drives them from zero to warp speed in a split second.
Picking up a puppy turns them from a sleeping angel into a wriggling imp with arms and legs paddling dynamically into the air, your lap or your hand - wherever they find themselves. This flailing seems over-the-top to me, but in the nest, they are immediately up and driving. But where?
To their mother of course. Her unique odor, the attraction of her pheromones, and the nursing noises of her siblings orient the puppies. They receive the navigational information they need to span the three or four feet to mother's bosom. No eyes are necessary!
I understand these reactions to be clearly autonomic and not related to any particular feeling or emotion. Yet, I can't help but wonder what is going on inside these pups heads.
What about you?
What do you think?
What do you think they think?
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- Dr. B...