Barb, a 2 year old black lab mix, was rescued at the end of September from a dog cull situation (extermination of strays). It was discovered, upon her vet check, that she was pregnant. The prediction was 9 pups, but of course nothing goes as planned in rescue! 9 pups came… then 10… then the 11th came shortly before midnight. Sigh of relief, right? Wrong. At 10:30am the next day, ten and a half hours after puppy 11, puppy number 12 came out! Don’t worry, that was it. 12 puppies in our first litter born into our care. It was quite the experience to witness… it was gross, beautiful, humbling, and emotional all at the same time.
They were so tiny, easily fitting into the palm of a hand. Mamma was great through the entire thing, never making a sound. She was very caring and concerned about all of her babies, and was great about having us by her side. There were two runts of the litter, puppies 3 and 4. They had a tough start, not steadily gaining weight or keeping it on. Puppy number 3, a little female, ended up being able to keep the weight on eventually, but puppy 4 could not. We named him Little Leo. We spent many all-nighters with Little Leo, giving him fluids under the skin to keep him hydrated, bottle feeding every 30 minutes, keeping him warm, and monitoring him.
Unfortunately, despite all of our efforts, Leo passed away at two and a half weeks due to failure to thrive. It was a heartbreaking experience for all of us. We were very lucky to continue on with 11 healthy pups, who were ready just days before Christmas! We’re happy to announce that all 11 of Barbs Christmas Pups have been adopted and are absolutely thriving in their new homes!