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Woman nurses puppies

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Updated: 22 Dec, 14:56 (GMT+1)

Woman who nursed puppies has no regrets

A young Norwegian mother who took a litter of puppies to her own breast when her dog died giving birth remains proud of her unusual move. Now, six weeks later, both her infant son and eight of the puppies that survived are crawling around the family's Christmas tree in Siggerud, west of Oslo.

"I've had lots of reaction, mostly positive," Kine Skiaker tells newspaper Aftenposten. But Skiaker also had to tolerate some less-than-flattering remarks.

"No one has complained to me directly, but I've heard from others that some people thought it was disgusting that I would nurse Emil (her son) and the puppies at the same time," she said. "I just have to tolerate that, and can only say that I washed myself thoroughly after I'd nursed the puppies."

Skiaker says she's also been told by experts that she helped save the puppies' lives. "That makes me feel good," she said. "Then I can accept that some think what I did was nauseating."

The drama began Friday November 8 when Skiaker's Canarian Warren Hound, named Aida, started giving birth to a litter of 14 puppies. Suddenly the puppies stopped coming and the next stop was the vet's office.

In the end, both Aida and three of the puppies died, while another three died later.

Those that survived were in desperate need of nourishment, and that's when Skiaker impulsively took them to her breast. She fed them over that first weekend, until surrogate mother dogs could be found to take over.

Today, the eight surviving puppies (four males and four females) are back in the Skiaker's home and in good health. So is baby Emil, now five months old and happy to play with his canine comrades in the Skiakers' living room.

One of the puppies will be soon be delivered to new owners in Kongsberg. She's the only one with a name, so far, and it's Aida, after her late mother.

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