Laurel has had to set some boundaries and it's kind of shocking to see my sweet, mild-mannered "Little Sunshine" put her foot down and say no, absolutely not, this isn't a good time, it's not up for discussion, just plain no.
But she does. She's the most emotionally healthy of us all and we all depend on her and if little mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
Setting boundaries is a skill she learned with her adopted baby and then generalized to her interactions with my larger Chi mix. If I'd banned the dry nursing or separated the fur kids, they might not have worked it out themselves and she might have gotten hurt accidentally by one of my larger pets.
The kitten is still nursing when the Chihuahua lets her and the Chihuahua gets to decide when that ends, not me. The kitten is still not interested in bottles, not sucking on sweaters, not making biscuits excessively or mussing my hair or any of the other annoying and often lifelong behaviours that are typical when kittens are weaned too early.
This dog shouldn't have puppies but she sure takes good care of her giant foster baby and could almost lead a La Leche League group, lol. No idea if it's even still dry nursing or if she's successfully induced lactation.
I knew my dogs liked cats before I brought Willow home, I just had no idea how much! She has brought so much joy to all of us. She's our spoiled rotten little baby.
I took this one when they were about the same size:
but then I blinked; Laurel may still be a few grams heavier, but Willow is taller. She has a"favourite nipple" and may or may not have induced lactation. It is extremely unlikely that this could be a significant source of nutrition for a newborn orphan Chihuahua puppy, much less a ~6-7 lb kitten.
Both pets will be spayed, so this will be Laurel's only experience of motherhood. What a tragedy and a loss to the world, but there are too many little dogs that look just like her in the shelters and I don't have the resources for an emergency C-section or to provide for a puppy or puppies if forever homes don't materialize.