Jenna has been a very successful addition to our family and we have often said we would love to have another puppy like her.When Jenna-the-Labrador's breeders contacted us to say that Jenna's dam was being mated and ask if we were interested in reserving a puppy we had to think long and hard. We were very tempted, though it would mean we had five dogs, rising to seven when Tia and Foxy visit. However, one of our dogs, Gentle Dominie, is fast approaching the Rainbow Bridge and Buddy Liver Spots will be fourteen next March. The deciding factor was Jenna herself. She delights in her Labrador friends and is in low spirits for a few days after they return to their own home. Thus we replied to Charlotte that we would like a sister for Jenna.
The puppies were due on 9th September but on September 8th Stormy went into labour and soon found herself in difficulties as two puppies were squeezing into the birth canal. An emergency caesarian section was performed but of her five puppies two were delivered dead. The other three, a bitch and two dogs, were lethargic - commonplace in such circumstances - and had to be rubbed vigorously to stimulate them. This is something the dam normally does by licking them to encourage circulation and independent breathing. All the puppies were a good size but it proved difficult to wake up the bigger boy. Charlotte was starting to think that he was not for this world when all of a sudden he hiccoughed and took his first breath, so he is very special to her. She almost felt she had brought him back from the dead - we suggested she call him Lazarus.
We had thought another bitch would be easier to integrate than a dog. The bitch puppy had been reserved by someone who had been longing for another pup from Stormy for nearly four years and so we accepted that we would not be adding a puppy in the near future. In conversation with Charlotte she reiterated something we had heard from other owners and breeders. If two bitches fight they will never settle their differences and cohabit happily. Indeed, before we had her this happened with our first Labrador and her mother and they could never be left alone together. When two dogs fight - unless it's in close proximity to an in-season bitch which both are trying to mate - they can learn to cooperate with each other, accepting their positions within the hierarchy. Buddy and Frodo have never fought with each other - they grumble at each other occasionally but Frodo knows his place and would never assert himself although he's bigger and stronger than Buddy.
In short, we have made a space in our home for a special puppy, Jenna's half-brother whom we have named Gus. Charlotte and Ali like to know what the puppies are to be called so that they can accustom them to their names. All is excitement here and we look forward to more photographs from Charlotte charting Gus's growth and development. All three puppies are feeding well - there's never a struggle to find a place at the milk bar and they will all have had a hefty dose of colostrum.