Frica and the Aliens 01/22/08

The following posts are from a series of emails I’ve been sharing with friends regarding the fascinating behavior displayed by my shitzu-terrier mix, Frica, following the birth of her pups. I’m also including this in the BeeBee Chronicles because, aside from Frica being 2 years older, Bee’s presence is the only thing that has changed since she had her first litter. At that time, I did have another dog, but she was an adult female, not a pup like BeeBee.

The original emails included pictures, but the quality of them when uploaded to the blog was so poor that I deleted them and describe what I saw instead.

Fric’s 4 puppies (3 males, 1 female) were born on January 20th and she and they are in a pen in my upstairs office. On the 22nd I wrote:

Today Frica came down from the office and made it clear that she had to go out. When she came back in, she didn’t immediately go back upstairs as she has since the puppies were born. Instead, she made a slight detour and picked up a grungy squeaky toy, a yellow alien, that she’s ignored for years but one with which BeeBee periodically plays. Bee naturally made a grab for it, but Fric spun away from her and disappeared upstairs with it. This was no easy feat because the toy was relatively large and unwieldy, the stairs are steep, and her sagging full mammary glands make her less agile than usual. It took her several tries to figure out how to hold the toy so she could do this. Intrigued by this unusual behavior, I followed her up. There I discovered that she had placed the yellow in the corner of the box, with its big eyes trained on the pile of sleeping pups.

So, did she decide that the news on the papers under the box was suitable for her offspring? Did she find the inside of the box too barren compared to the plethora of  toys she’s used to? Or did she just delight in stealing it from Bee and wanted to put it somewhere where she knew Bee couldn’t get it?

Beats me, but she didn’t do this with her last litter.  Now to see what else, if anything, she adds as time goes on.