When Italia first came to our home, Dino was the dog who greeted her, played with her and bonded with her. They became instant buddies and we called him "Italia's foster husband". They would snuggle together. If one was on my lap, the other had to be as well. Not in a competitive way, but in a "you are my friend, I go where you go" kind of way.
Dino waited outside her pen when she was in labor and subsequently delivering her puppies. We could almost hear what he was thinking, "I want to hold her paw while she delivers 'our' babies." After they were born, he couldn't wait to see them. He would sit outside her covered pen hoping to catch a glimpse.
Now that Italia is feeling a bit more like herself and a bit more carefree about her puppies, he decided to take matters into his own paws. We leave her pen door just a little ajar so she can get in and out, but our dogs can't. That was a trick taught to me by my Foster Mommy Mentor, Susan. We've been doing this for a day now and our dogs have left Italia and the crew alone...until this morning. I was paying bills with my back to the pen and I turned to check on the puppies who were very quiet. When I turned, I was surprised at what I saw...
Dino was IN the pen with Italia and the crew yet Italia was not growling. When our Rottweiler even comes close to the pen, Italia's teeth come out and the growling begins. But not with Dino. I shot a few pictures as the day went on.
It really seems like they are caring for the puppies together. Dino must have learned a thing or two while watching Italia care for her puppies these last two weeks because he is now doing the same thing. If they cry, he goes over to them and licks them. If they are stuck outside the whelping box, he goes over to comfort them. They crawl over to him and he lay down next to them. They fall asleep.
Dino is their dad. He may not have created them, but he is their dad. Genetics and biology is one thing but love for your children is something entirely different....and unconditional. Thanks for confirming that Dino. And for protecting and taking care of your family. You inspire me.