One of the things we did before embarking on the adventure of having puppies was to consult some sources of information about this exciting adventure. One was a book on the subject at a discount bookstore in a local resort town while visiting for a brief vacation. Our other source was an experienced dog breeder with tons of actual experience breeding full blooded Labrador retriever puppies.
As a matter of fact, this lady became our source for our “mama” dog, which we named Callie Jane. The first name was a derivative of the flower, Calla lily, due to our interest in greenhouse gardening at that time, but her second name came for the lady with the knowledge and the pure bred chocolate lab we desired.
One of the things we learned was that the gestation period for dogs is 63 days. Obviously we could not know exactly to the day when the conception occurred without expensive or extensive veterinarian intervention, which is not necessary, so we just had to be aware when the first encounter was between Callie, our mama and Moe the daddy.
Sure enough within the nine weeks we began to see the signs that it was time to welcome our new additions. Reading the book we purchased we saw there was supposed to be place where Callie could go to feel comfortable during her birthing experience. We though we had come up with a suitable place, but she chose her own, away from the activity of our family.
When we realized what was happening we went to where she was, in case she needed help. Not that we were experts by any means, but it was kind of a big deal. At that time, my kids were 12 and 9. They were very excited and on summer vacation from school, so they wanted to see what happened. So even though her plan was to be away, she had an audience.
Two or three puppies were already born by the time my kids got to her and they along with my wife watched another several being born, for a total of eight. we thought she was finished and helped move her to a cooler place as we used one of those plastic kiddie pools, which we intended to be where she birthed the puppies. After we moved Callie and the puppies she had one more surprise for us when she delivered her ninth puppy. We now had eight chocolate and one cream colored pups.
Moe’s family was the first to see the new pups, since they were part of the extended family. They of course were part of the process from the beginning and were excited to see the new little ones. Boy were they little. I couldn’t say exactly how much they weighed, but they were tiny little things. They did not open their eyes for a few days and mainly just squirmed as they tried to nurse from their mom many times each day.