I had been led to believe that on their first introduction to solid food I could expect a major mess, with puppies wallowing in their food pan and generally acting like clueless little puppies. Our experience wasn't even close to that.
I tethered Lucky on a spare post outside the whelping pen to eat her breakfast so the puppies could have free reign over their pan. I poured in the gruel and started grabbing puppies from the whelping box.
Some of them tried wandering off into the pen, trying to figure out why they'd been removed from their nice warm nest into the cold cruel world (32 degrees this morning), but as soon as their little noses were dipped into the gruel they figured out that "Hey, this is FOOD"!!!
Keeping track of everyone was a bit of a challenge and I had to chase a few around the pen a bit, but it didn't take them long at all to figure out the routine. Within minutes of shooting the two photos here all six were circled around the pan, chowing down like old pros.