Dusty Road Labradors

December 8, 2017


For those of you unfamiliar with the blogs I write, I add entries ‘above’ not below.  To read the entire blog, one must scroll to the bottom.  Hope everyone reading this blog enjoys watching these puppies from before birth to 8 weeks of age.

Some fun pictures…


Ole and Lena

Cooper taking a nap

Lena unloading the dishwasher

Emma and her new owner

Baron and Pepper

Winter and Jacob


Saturday, Mar 24 – The time has come to put the whelping supplies away. Everything has been cleaned and packed away for the next litter.  The play area has been taken down and put away.  All the baby puppy toys have been saved for the next litter.  The AKC paperwork has been completed.  I think everything is done!!

You know, they say ‘time heals’. I truly agree! Things were so tough when Prim had complications after her c-section. The uncertainty of Prim and her puppies surviving was heart wrenching for Mark and me, those of you that read my blogs, and those getting puppies.  We praise God for the successful completion of a litter with a difficult beginning and for Emma as she stepped in and nursed these puppies when Prim was not able to.

All of the puppies have gone to great homes with great people. Some went to homes with adults while some went to homes with children. Each and everyone of these new parents took home wonderful puppies to love.  

As I put things away, I am truly thankful that God gave me my love of animals and the ability to ‘just do what needs done’. No matter what I get on my hands, it will wash off.  Whatever I get on my clothes, it will wash out. Whatever I get on my face will be washed off by the tears I shed.

I hope that Prim, Emma, Mark, and I have done a great job preparing the puppies for their new homes.  I know they are all beautiful puppies with lots of personality and love to give.

Now it is YOUR turn. YOU must continue rearing these puppies supplying lots of love and TLC plus all the tools these puppies need to grow into healthy, happy adult dogs.

Most important, ENJOY YOUR PUPPIES as they won’t be little long. I anticipate they will weigh about 50 pounds by 6 months.

Mark and I would like to thank you for trusting us to provide a puppy for you to love. It has been our pleasure meeting and getting to know each of you.

We want to extend a big thank you to everyone who called, sent an e-mail, said a prayer for us, Emma, and Prim….and the puppies.

A very big thank you goes to Dr. Melody Kaliff and all the staff at Animal Clinic Suburban without whose care Emma would not be alive today to nurse these beautiful puppies. What an amazing vet you are!


Thursday, Mar 22 – The last puppy has been picked up.  PINK who is being named Willow went to her new home with Rich and Barb this evening.  Mark and I were able to have a few days to enjoy Willow and see what a neat little puppy she is.

Rich with Willow

 Friday, Mar 16 – BROWN got an early bath as Amy and Haley were coming at 10:00 am.  Amy was so excited that she got the puppy of her choice.  After going over the paperwork, Amy and Haley took BROWN home.  His name is Cooper.

Haley and Amy with Cooper

Our day slowed down until late afternoon.  Two more baths and then a shower for me.  Patty was next to pickup BLUE.  His new name is Kase.  

Patty and Kase

One more pickup —- Samantha came to pickup GREEN.  GREEN doesn’t have a new name yet.  They will have a naming contest.  We  want to thank Samantha for the opportunity to provide a puppy.  It’s our understanding that GREEN will be living with Samantha’s family and she will be training GREEN herself.  I must have forgot to take a picture…sorry.  

We will have PINK, now named Willow, until next Thursday.  We will finalize this blog once she goes home.  

Wednesday, Mar 14 – This was the first ‘pick up’ day for puppies.  Nicky, Jeremy, and two sons were the first to pick up their puppy.  They were 1st pick female.  They chose BURGUNDY.  We had communicated thru e-mails and it was good to finally meet them.  BURGUNDY’S new name is Ruby.

Jeremy, Nicky, and boys with RUBY

That evening Rich stopped to check out if they would be taking home their pick…PINK.  He was tickled that PINK will be their puppy!!

Tuesday, Mar 13 – We had a birthday party here for daughter Erin and her daughter Nicole.  Nicole turned 11 but if I tell you how old Erin is, she’ll be very made at me!!!  The kids all went to the barn to see the puppies.  There is nothing like kids and puppies to make you smile.

Saturday, Mar 10 – Shari, Leann, and Lola visited the puppies.  They are not getting a puppy but are the proud owners of Prim, the mother of the puppies.  They were taken by how much they looked like Prim!!!  Prim has blended into their family and we are so happy that this has worked out so well.  

Friday, Mar 9 – Patty and her brother from Lincoln visited the puppies this afternoon.  We had briefly met Patty at the vet’s office and got to know her better this afternoon.  Patty had 2 males to chose from — BLUE and BROWN.  Both are nice puppies but their coloring is totally different.  BLUE will be a very light yellow while BROWN will be more carmel color.  She picked BLUE before she left.  We called Amy to let her know she would be taking home BROWN.

In the evening Rich and Barb visited the puppies.  They have their heart set on a certain puppy but they are 2nd pick female.  Oh the stress picking puppies causes!!

Thursday, Mar 8 – Amy and daughter Haley visited the puppies.  They fell in love with BROWN but couldn’t pick until Patty picks and that was to be the next day.  

Wednesday, Mar 7 – Samantha with Good Dog! Autism Companion evaluated the puppies to select the best suited male puppy to be trained as an autism service dog.  It was fun watching Samantha ‘do her job’.  After evaluating all the puppies, Samantha removed the females and made her selection.  She chose GREEN.  

Monday, Mar 5 – Our 6-week visit to Dr. Kaliff was great!  All puppies passed their exams with flying colors.  They all quietly ate a treat when Dr. Kaliff gave them their vaccination.

Having their first set of vaccinations allowed the puppy buyers to come visit.  

Thursday, Mar 1 – We are watching Prim’s fabulous 5 puppies are blossoming into wonderful puppies.  Even though they had a rough start, one would not know it now.  They all have nice coats and all have ‘angel wings’ which is prominent in the bit darker yellow puppies.  Their faces are pretty and their eyes are expressive.  And their tails never stop wagging!!!

The female puppies have pink and burgundy ribbons.  The male puppies have navy blue, brown, and green ribbons.

We opened the area up to include the three areas.  It gives the puppies more room to run and race around after each other.  They had the opportunity to play with a couple of the BIG toys from the play area.  They weren’t sure what to do with the slide and the step but were very inquisitive.

The puppies are eating 4 times a day and have reached 3 cups of dry puppy food.  This makes about 5 cups of wet food.  We are making it dryer every day so they will be on completely dry food when they go to their new homes.

Monday, Feb 25 – My house and barn are feeling pretty empty with Emma’s puppies gone as well as Emma has gone to Dr. Kaliff’s home.  As we were getting Emma ready to leave, we gave her a bath.  She has been blowing her coat the last month and was needing a good bath in hopes that the cycle will be completed.  She looked very beautiful to go to be Lincoln’s best bud.

The fabulous 5 puppies are growing like weeds.  They are beginning to enjoy the large area.  They run around, chase tails, steal toys, and slide thru potty spreading it all around.

Yesterday we trimmed nails, wiped dried puppy food off their heads, and wormed them for the 3rd time.  They are beginning to respond to our voices and come to us to be loved.

We are feeding them 4 times a day.  When they go home, they will be eating 3 times a day.  This litter of puppies is very clean.  They are going potty on the newspaper.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you the puppies are getting their 6 weeks shots on Monday, March 5, at 10:30 am.  If you wish to come visit, let us know.  Visitation is allowed after the shots….come see the puppies!

Here are some pictures taken this morning.

Pink female

This is not a puppy with a seriously bad ear. As I snapped the picture, another puppy ran into the picture. What you are seeing is a tail!!!

Burgundy female with siblings fighting/playing behind her.

Saturday, Feb 24 – Today’s weather is becoming very disturbing.  Where is the sun?  Why are we getting thunder and rain in February?  Oh well, this is Nebraska and Iowa and anything is possible!

Winter, formerly Blue female, was picked up today by Carrie from Las Cruces.  The weather again coated our road with another layer of ice.  Unfortunately, the hill doesn’t melt until about April so we have learned to accept the conditions of our road.

Anyway, Carrie and a couple other family members were going to come out to meet Winter and we were going to lunch.  Nope, not today.  About 5:00 pm we made arrangements with Carrie to meet us at the mall.  We  didn’t go over the hill but drove north to Crescent and then south to Council Bluffs.

Carrie was so happy to finally meet Winter and Winter immediately snuggled Carrie’s neck.  Because it was dark, I wasn’t able to get a picture of Carrie and Winter.  She will send one and I will post it later.

Now that the final puppy has gone to it’s new home, I can ‘close’ this litter.  The AKC paperwork has been completed, all the toys have been sterilized for when Prim’s litter is ready to play with them, and I wrote a thank you message to all of our new puppy parents.  I hope you enjoy knowing a bit more about who has your puppy’s brothers and sisters.

As this beautiful litter of puppies is about to go to their new homes, Mark and I would like to personally thank each of you for the opportunity to provide you one of our English labrador puppies. We feel this litter will be great companion/family dogs.

Jeff  from Colfax, IA, and Barbara from Lansing, KS, both have Sera and Conrad brothers and are adding sisters for their boys, Ole and Barron, respectively. Conrad is the grandpa of this litter.

Carrie is my niece from Las Cruces, NM. Carrie’s family and her Mom Sylvia and Dad Garth will now have a total of 4 of our puppies. Carrie has Tornado from our Claire and Conrad litter in 2014. Sylvia has Puddles from our Claire and Conrad litter in 2015. Carrie’s new puppy Winter is a granddaughter of Claire and Conrad and I think she is a niece of Tornado and Puddles.

You’re right, that’s only 3 dogs. Our first yellow female was Pippa. Sylvia and Garth were visiting relatives here in the metro area. They heard about puppies and they were our first puppy buyer. They have a Pippa-puppy——#4.

We have two first-time buyers — Lizzy and Dan of Council Bluffs and Jon of the Des Moines area. We have met Lizzy and Dan and look forward to hearing how ‘their Valentine’s Day surprise’ goes as their kids aren’t aware of getting a puppy.

Jon is also picking up his puppy on Valentine’s Day. We haven’t met Jon and his family but are looking forward to seeing their excitement when they see their puppy. It won’t be hard to pick out Jon’s puppy. Wilbur is the only yellow and only male in the group. Jon has been on our list for quite a while. Mark and I thank him for sticking with us until we had a yellow male puppy for his family.

Without GREAT puppy buyers, Dusty Road Labradors would be just ‘another kennel’ raising ‘just another puppy’. Our buyers encourage us to set the bar higher.

Please stay in touch, we love pictures!!! When you are ready for your second, third, or fifth puppy, give us a call! Again, thank you!

Mark and Janell

Monday, Feb 19 – Happy ‘All Presidents’ Day’!  Not sure how many of you would have had the day off but I used to.  I worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 29 years and 8 months.  I had LOTS of All Presidents’ Days off.  I hinted to Mark about my past and he ignored me.  Can you believe it — he didn’t tell me to take the day off, go shopping, and maybe have lunch with girl friends.  Good thing it was icy this morning or I might have gone AWOL!!!

We still have Winter.  Carrie will pick her up this weekend.  Winter is in an ex-pen and comes and sits on our laps several times a day.


Pictures received from Jeff, Barb, and Jon, respectively.

Ole and Lena

Pepper and Baron


The fabulous 5 have moved to the nursery in the barn.  They have a much larger area to play, eat, and potty in.  They are learning to go to the newspapers to potty.  They are eating a very milky gruel and doing well.  Have been weighing them daily as this is a BIG move for them.

Prim’s puppies under heat lamp in nursery

Prim’s puppies in sleep area. Note area to left of puppies has newspapers for pottying

Emma is up in the house with the other dogs.  She is so comfortable with just hanging with us.  Unfortunately, she leaves a trail of black hair wherever she goes.  She is ‘blowing her coat’ which is normal while or after nursing a litter.  She will go to Dr. Kaliff when her family is ready.

Friday, Feb 16 – Today the 4th out of 5 puppies went home.  Jeff and Ole came to pick up Yellow this afternoon.  Jeff is a great friend who loves our puppies as much as we do.  He tries to come visit every time we have a litter.  He was coming to see this litter.  After a quick call to see if he was interested in Yellow, the purpose of his trip changed from playing with the puppies to taking Yellow home AND playing with the two remaining puppies.  

Ole is Jeff’s black male that he, of course, bought from Dusty Road Labs couple of years ago!!!  Jeff told us he had thought about lots of names but they just didn’t go with Ole.  What about Lena?  Ole and Lena sounds good together….Lena it is!  As they drove off, Ole was checking Lena out.  Jeff said he could tell Ole liked Lena.

Jon with Wilbur

Barbara and Pepper

Dan and surprise puppy

Jeff with Ole and Lena

Prim’s puppies are outgrowing the whelping box.  Emma is still in the ‘reception area’ but doesn’t go near those puppies to nurse.  I’ve caught her licking the milk and gruel off their faces but does this without going into the whelping box.  I caught her slipping into the whelping box to sleep under the heater when all the puppies were sound asleep.  As soon as they wake or get near her, she is out of there!!  

Tomorrow the puppies will be moved up to the nursery.  They will begin their potty training and the larger area will allow them to run around building their leg muscles.  They are eating formula and softened puppy food four times a day.  See the messy puppies after eating.

licking leftovers

Emma sleeping under heater while puppies are asleep the corner

 Wednesday, Feb 14 – Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!  Three of Emma’s puppies will be going to their new homes today….Orange female, Brown male, and hot pink female.  Yellow female goes home on Friday.  Then the remaining puppy Blue female will move to the house until her new mom comes around the 25th to pick her up.  

At 10-weeks of age, the puppies will need their 2nd vaccination.  Please take your health record with you so your vet can see what has been done. Your vet may want a stool sample at this visit.  You might want to call and find out what to expect at this visit.  

Once the nursery at the barn is cleaned and disinfected, Prim’s litter will move in.  The puppies range from 4 to 5 pounds.  They have had their nails trimmed three times, wormed two times with two more worming before they are 8 weeks old, and are now eating gruel.

We started introducing puppy formula a few days ago as we saw Emma was needing a bit of help.  It took the puppies about 4 days to catch on to lapping.  They now are lapping a gruel of softened puppy food and puppy milk four times a day.  

Emma is weaning the puppies.  She spends little time with them although she is where they can see her.  I think she is ready for her new life as a house and companion dog to begin.  I forgot to mention the puppies now have lots of sharp little teeth!

The puppies have mastered walking and are running a bit.  There is an occasional jump which makes you laugh.  They are afraid of nothing in the whelping box but put them on the mat outside the whelping box to change the mat and they fall apart.  They are frozen in place and worry is written all over their face….this feels different, it’s cold and slick, where are my brothers and sisters?  In a couple more weeks you will see more confident outgoing puppies wanting to check out the world!!

Friday, Feb 9 – The puppies in both litters are doing fantastic!  Three of Emma’s puppies are going home on Valentine’s Day.  What a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift!  One puppy is a surprise for two kids who have been begging for a puppy.  

For those of you who are longtime blog readers, you will may recall that I have relatives in Las Cruces, NM, who have three of our puppies…soon to have one more!!!  Sylvia and Garth are the parents and they have four girls — Carrie, Marcie, Berta, and Andrea.  Sylvia, Garth, Carrie and her family, and Marcie and her family live close to each other.  Berta and family live in Albuquerque, NM, and Andrea and family live in Texas.

Their first puppy is Raindrop who is a Pippa puppy from many years ago.  She lives with Garth and Sylvia.  The second is Tornado.  Tornado is a ClaireXConrad puppy born in 2014.  Tornado lives with Carrie and family.  Puddles is a ClaireXConrad puppy born in 2015.  Puddles lives with Garth and Sylvia.  Surprise, Carrie is getting a puppy from this EmmaXKeeper litter.  Her name is Winter.  

To help you understand the relationship of the last three puppies, Puddles and Tornado are full siblings born a year apart.  Winter’s mom is Emma who is a Claire daughter.  I’m safe to say that the Sprat’s have four beautiful English labs with wonderful personalities!!  Thank you for loving our labs as much as we do!!!  Love you all!!!

Emma keeps on taking care of Prim’s puppies.  The puppies are almost 4 pounds so Emma is doing a great job feeding these beautiful puppies. They have their eyes open and are walking around the whelping box.  Emma does spend more time on the outside of the whelping box but I would be too after nursing puppies for the past 8 weeks without a rest.

Prim is adjusting to her new home.  No, Prim HAS adjusted to her new home!!!  LeAnn and Lola have welcomed this wonderful girl into their home and they love her as much as she loves them back!!

3 out of 4 puppies

Saturday, Feb 3 – I apologize for not adding to the website this week. 

Emma’s puppies had their 6 week exam and first vaccinations on Wednesday.  They all passed their exams with flying colors!  Their weights were about 9# and Dr. Kaliff commented ‘they are nice, big puppies’!!!!

We are having puppy buyers over this afternoon to see Emma’s puppies.  They are getting a black female puppy.

The puppies are eating 4 times a day.  The food is just about dry.  We add very little water.  We have noticed their water consumption has gone up with the dryer food.

Orange female

Going to the vet

Blue female

Patiently waiting to eat

These are pictures taken tonight while the puppies were playing in the play yard.

Blue female

Pink girl and Brown boy napping on slide

Prim’s puppies are growing like weeds.  Emma is still nursing them and doing a great job.  The puppies had their nails trimmed this week and had their first worming.  They are scooting all over the whelping box and spending less time under the hanging heater.  They all weigh nearly 3 pounds.  

Prim went to her new home with LeeAnn and Lola.  They live in Council Bluffs so we will be able to see Prim every once in a while.   I believe Prim has found a great family to be part of.

Lola and Prim

Monday, Jan 29 – I know the saying is ‘what a difference a day makes’ but we are so thankful ‘what a difference a week makes’.  Prim is recovering nicely.  Her appetite is good.  Her eyes have their sparkle back.  And the tail has not quit moving since she feels better.  She gets her staples out tomorrow night.  When Prim has the ‘all clear’ from Dr. Kaliff, she will reside with LeeAnn and Lola.  She will have a life of luxury in Council Bluffs.  I forgot to mention Prim is loved by her Grandma Shari also!

Prim’s puppies had their first nail trim and were imprinted.  

When puppies are born, they are deaf and blind.  They also have colorless paw pads and nose.  This will come in and be dark black within a couple weeks.

puppy paw showing black pigment coming in

Prim’s Green Boy

Burgundy and Pink girls

The Magnificent 5

Green and Blue boys

Blue, Green, and Brown males

Emma is busy taking care of Prim’s puppies.  They are growing like weeds and developing right on time.  Emma will go live with Dr. Kaliff’s family when she is done rearing Prim’s puppies.  Emma’s puppies go to Dr. Kaliff on Wednesday for their first set of vaccinations.

Hot Pink female

Playyard and activity area

Brown male and Orange female

Orange female

Blue and Yellow females sleeping

Thursday, Jan 25 – I haven’t been to the barn to see Emma’s puppies for a few days.  I can’t believe how big they are, especially compared to Prim’s newborn puppies.  

The puppies are 5 weeks old today.  They had their nails trimmed and received their 3rd worming.

Mark has rearranged their area since Emma is in the house nursing Prim’s puppies.  They have 2/3 of the area.  The first 1/3 is for play and eating.  It is separated from the middle 1/3 by a PVC pipe.  This middle area is lined with newspapers.  This is early paper training of the puppies.  Within a few days, they will go to the middle area to poo and piddle.  They will have accidents just like a toddler.  They get busy looking at me or they hear a noise and oops they go potty in the wrong area.

If you want to visit the puppies, please set up a time.

taking a na

Tuesday, Jan 23 – Today has been a better day for Prim and her puppies.  Prim got home this afternoon and looks just great.  She is wagging her tail and was glad to see us.   

Due to the puppies having a rough start, we have decided to leave the puppies with Emma.  I’m hoping to return the puppies I am supplementing  to Emma as they get stronger.  

Also, we will be offering the puppies this weekend.  Just want to make sure they are all healthy.  

The puppies are going to Dr. Kaliff tomorrow to have their dew claws removed.  This eliminates the puppies/dogs from ever catching their dew claws on tall grass or weeds and ripping them off.  The pain they experience removing their dew claws is nothing to the pain of having their dew claws ripped off.  

Blankets and Pads:  It is so easy to go on a shopping spree as you prepare for your puppy.  From my experience, save your money to buy special things such as pads and blankets when your puppy is older.  Some puppies never stop chewing but some just aren’t chewers.

I use old towels or small sections of blanket to keep our puppies in kennels warm and comfortable.  If they chew, the blanket or pad gets taken out.  One doesn’t want to have strips of the fabric caught in their intestines.  This can cause a major blockage requiring surgery to remove.  And it never happens during your vet’s regular hours!!

Monday, Jan 22 – Today’s blog is dedicated to Prim and her puppies.  I’ll start back at the beginning of labor.  Prim labored for several hours only to show no progression.  Off to Urgent Pat Care where we were advised that sadly a puppy was not passing thru the birth canal.  We had 7 puppies as the x-ray showed and, yes, they were all yellow.  There are 4 boys and 3 girls.  

Prim came home about 8:30 am on Sunday morning.  When the c-section was completed, all of the puppies nursed and we took them home which was at 5:00 am.

We received a courtesy call to see how Prim was doing.  Prim was not eating and her energy level was very low.  Off we go to have them check Prim’s vitals.  They kept Prim overnight with plans of going home this morning.  They asked us if they could keep her until tonight to monitor her.

Due to Prim not being strong enough to nurse her puppies, we called upon Emma.  Emma was nursing her puppies a couple of times a day and they are 4 1/2 weeks old so we decided to see if Emma would accept Prim’s puppies.  When Emma came back to the basement, she could hear the puppies crying and immediately started cleaning the puppies and laid down and nursed all 7 puppies.

We hope to have Prim home later tonight but she may stay there since the weather is pretty nasty.

Saturday, Jan 20 – Emma and puppies are enjoying their larger, resort-like accommodations at the dog barn.  There are two windows for sunshine, a heat lamp for extra warmth, and water available all day.  Wow, the life of a dog!!  

The puppies are eating gruel three times a day as Emma is still nursing them. As you all know, labs have a tendency to gain weight so we don’t want to start overeating habits now.  As the puppies eat more, Emma will nurse them less so we are reducing Emma’s food to decease her milk production.

Eating from a puppy bowl

dog pile in corner

Prim is in labor as I’m writing this.  Hoping for puppies by end of the day…yes I mean midnight.  I’m so thankful we bought a monitor so I can do other things upstairs and watch Prim on the monitor.  Will post information and pictures as soon as we can.


Wednesday, Jan 17 – Emma and puppies are officially residing in the nursery.  We were so thankful for the warm weather which assured us if we put them in a covered tote, walked fast, didn’t trip or fall, that they would not be cold after the trip from the house to the dog barn.

We have been watching the monitor before we moved Emma and noticed she didn’t go in with the puppies at all.  Ok, I’ll make up some gruel and see what happens.  Normally, the puppies refuse to get their little lips covered with that goo let alone eat it willingly.  Well, all 5 of the puppies ate like they were starving.  Emma is weaning her puppies.  I did check for teeth and they are coming in thus weaning by Emma.

The puppies were very inquisitive about their new surroundings.  After their gruel, Emma popped in to tease the puppies.  She stood while they reached and nursed standing on their hind legs.  We stayed about an hour watching and Emma did lay down and they all nursed.

We will start feeding gruel 4 times a day.  This is puppy food soaked in water.  I smash it with a fork and then add puppy formula.  Right now it is the consistency of gravy but they will be on dry (or almost dry) food by the time they go to their new homes.

The nursery is kept at about 72 degrees with a heat lamp area of about 78 degrees.  They puppies can go under the heat lamp should they be chilled.  The pen they are in is about 6’x8′ and is raised off the concrete floor with insulation so the floor is not cold like concrete.  The pen is made of all washable products which makes clean up easy and simple.

Let’s Talk About Cleaners – We use a product called OdorBan.  We buy it at Sam’s by the gallon.  If you have a favorite cleaner and you are unsure if it is puppy safe, talk to your vet.  Some cleaners are alright for adult dogs but puppies are more sensitive.

We also use the Swifter Mop which has the container of cleaner already made up and ready to spray.  Because we love our OdorBan, we use the spray that comes with the Swifter around the house and refill with OdorBan.

Prim is officially in the whelping room downstairs.  She has gotten quite big but it isn’t slowing her down.  Tonight I shaved the hair off her belly so the puppies can find her nipples easier.  Her temp is slowly declining.  It was 101.0 after lunch and 100.8 tonight at bedtime.  She is still eating so I’m not sleeping with her tonight!!

Tuesday, Jan 16 – I am having computer issues with adding a separate blog for Prim’s litter.  I will add Prim’s info and italicize hers so you can tell between the two litters of puppies.

Prim is getting close and we are taking her temperature 2-3 times a day.  Her temp yesterday and also this afternoon was 101.6.  This is totally in the normal range.  We are waiting for the temp to drop to around 98 degrees —  then we have puppies coming within 24 hours.  Prim’s official due date(s) is January 17-21.  We also watch for her to stop eating — another sign that she is in the beginning stages of labor.  Although these changes are the norm, we have had dogs who didn’t stop eating nor did we catch the temp dropping.  The reproduction system of the dog is very challenging and most breeders do everything possible not to miss a heat cycle and a possible litter of puppies.

Here is Prim’s xray.  There are at least 7 puppies.  If you enlarge and enhance, you can see the skulls and spines of the puppies.  If you count more than 7 puppies, please let us know!!!

Prim’s x-ray


Sunday, Jan 14 – Hope everyone is staying warm.  The dogs are not wanting to stay outside more than just a few minutes.  

Emma and puppies will move to the dog barn tomorrow.  Prim will be moving down to the house as she is due for her puppies the end of the week.

I know some of the pictures haven’t been the best.  It is hard to take pictures of the black puppies on a black whelping pad.  When the puppies move to the nursery, it is much brighter and the flooring is light in color.

The puppies are beginning to get teeth.  The teeth could cause Emma to stop nursing so I’m getting ready to take over.

The puppies are still getting weighed once a day.  Two are over 4 pounds and the other two are just about to 4 pounds.  They have had their nails trimmed one more time.  Every day they are handled and talked to every time we feed Emma which is 4 times a day.  Emma is eating 7 cups of food.  Normally she eats 3 cups a day.  And she is not gaining weight!!!

Let’s talk about toys and treats:  I’m going you to encourage you to buy only USA made treats and toys.  My favorite website to purchase toys and treats is dog supplies.com.  They have free shipping with a $49 order and lots of specials.  We buy lots of Nylabone and Kong toys.  They have several ‘puppy’ toys which are great for chewing and boredom.  We also rotate toys.  

Another thing we buy from this website is treats.  We buy Natural Balance L.I.T. Treats.  They come in several different flavors and our dogs like all of them.  We give lots of treats and these are just the right size.  


Thursday, Jan 11 – The puppies are 3 weeks old today!!  They were all wormed again today.  We worm at 2, 3, 5, and 7 weeks of age.  

As we take care of the puppies, we are amazed at how entertaining they are.  Two are sleeping on one side of the whelping box while two others are wrestling on the other side.  Today we had one puppy get out of the whelping box.  I was watching Emma on the camera and there was Brown Boy nursing Emma on the outside mat.  Went down stairs and put the puppy back in.  Later tonight Mark added a board that will keep the puppies in the whelping box for a few more days.  Can’t put too many boards or Emma won’t be able to get in to nurse.

For those of you who weren’t able to get yellow puppies from this litter and were moved to PrimXConrad’s list, we are expecting 7 puppies.  I will be starting Prim’s blog soon as she is due between Jan 17 and 21.

All of these puppies are going home with AKC registration papers.  All the paperwork has been completed by us and Keeper’s owner Dori.  We will be working on their go-home packets so everything is ready around Valentine’s Day.

Brown Boy

Lt Blue Girl

Hot Pink girl

Orange girl

Yellow girl

Monday, Jan 8 – The puppies are getting really cute to watch.  They are making noises which I assume are ‘puppy barks’.  Emma is spending more time outside the whelping box so they have lots of area to scoot around in.  

I was enjoying just watching them today.  They were weighed this morning and all are 3#.  They all have their eyes open.  They are starting to respond to my voice.  When I walk in the room, I always say ‘hi babies’.  Today they all raised their heads and turned towards me.  I took some pictures as they were moving around the whelping box.

dog pile


Sunday, Jan 7 – A bit behind on adding new pictures so I’m adding a bunch.  The puppies are up on all four legs and even taking a few steps.  Hard to get all four legs moving in the same direction but they will have it mastered in just a few more days.  

You may catch a glimpse of an open eye or a partial open eye.  Again, this will take a few more days to have both eyes open.

I’m short pictures of Blue Female and Hot Pink Female.  Will get them and add to pictures below.  Enjoy!

Let’s talk about training. You can start training your puppy as soon as it comes home. Honestly, everything you do with your puppy is training.

Your puppy has been imprinted. This is a process of desensitizing by touch. We feel this prepares a puppy for the stimulation he will encounter in the next few months of his life. I wish I could say imprinting skips the puppy stages of chewing, nipping, pottying whenever and wherever, etc., but it doesn’t. Your puppy will be a puppy!

For instance, your puppy has had a ‘collar’ on since he was just days old. This has prepared him to wear other collars. Your puppies’ feet have been desensitized which makes nail trims less scary for him.

We suggest you attend a puppy obedience class after ALL vaccinations have been received. This is usually about 16 weeks of age. But, in the meantime, there is lots you can do in your own living room. Now is the time to introduce your puppy to leash training, the command ‘come’, the command ‘sit’, and the word NO. During your training sessions, you will identify what makes your dog tick. It may be treats, it may be verbal praise, or it may be touch praise.

The more time you spend with your puppy in the first few weeks will pay off when the puppy is going thru it’s ‘terrible two’s’ or ‘teenage years’. The bond you build now will last forever.

We suggest you read or even get a copy of Puppy Kindergarten (A well-mannered dog) – March, 2001 by Miriam Fields-Babineau. It is available on Amazon for around $5.00. This book has lots of practical training information and is well written for the dog owner.

Training sessions should be no more than 5 minutes in length as puppies cannot concentrate longer than 5 minutes. You can train your puppy several times a day if you wish. Remember — your puppy will thrive with love, patience, and praise!


basket of puppies

Thursday, Jan 4 – The puppies are 2 weeks old today.  I’ve seen these puppies go from 10-14 ounce helpless puppies to thriving puppies weighing almost 3 pounds in 2 short weeks.  

When puppies were born, they immediately find a nipple to nurse.  They aren’t even dry but find mom.  As they nurse, you can see changes taking place in front of your eyes.  They become stronger and begin filling out.  They are very thin when they are born.  

When these puppies were born last week, they all nursed and received colostrum.  When we got home, I placed all the puppies close to Emma.  They nursed off and on for the next 2 hours while I slept on a foam pad with one eye half open watching them.  Their mom was very sick but they kept on nursing only knowing she was providing milk and warmth for them.  

There are litters that are uneventful but most of ours have stories to tell.  This litter beat the odds and are growing and doing things at appropriate times.

I noticed today that their eyes are opening.  Their ears are open so they are hearing the world around them.  They are able to regulate their body temperature so they don’t need the room to be 80 degrees.  I still see them under the heat lamp but there is no ‘dog piling’ anymore.

Emma and puppies were de-wormed yesterday.  This is something we do as ALL puppies have worms.  We de-worm the moms’ at the same time as the puppies.

Something we haven’t talked about is that mom stimulates the puppies to pee and poop.  If you look at the whelping mat, there is nothing on the surface to clean up because mom takes care of this.

Right now Emma does most of the work…she feeds the puppies and cleans them.  Once the puppies start getting puppy food, the moms changed their mind…if you feed them, you clean up after them.  We start feeding the puppies at about 4 weeks of age and mom decides to ‘walk away’ at this time.

Mark and my work is pretty minimal but wait 2 weeks and things will definitely change — anyone want to come spend the day with us???

Seriously, this is a true labor of love.  We love taking care of the mom and puppies.

Tuesday, Jan 2 – Hope you are all staying warm.  These temperatures are life threatening so be careful when outside.  The dogs don’t like this cold weather either.  Everyone is going outside, doing their business, and going right back in.  The dogs at the barn are listening to music and watching Super Man on the TV.  Not sure they can follow the plot but they sure enjoy the bright colors!!

Emma goes to the vet tomorrow to have her stitches out.  Won’t need to take puppies with us.  They are fine without Emma for an hour or two.

Choosing a Vet:  Many of you have established relationships with a local vet.  Years ago one would be just a number on an invoice but vets now want to be involved with your pets thus establishing a relationship.  

If you don’t have a vet, ask your friends who they go to.  One can look on line to get vets in the area.  Once you have a couple vets picked out, call their office and ask to stop by to meet the office staff and vet/s.  Have a list of questions you might want answered.  For example, how long is the average wait to see the vet once I’m in the office?, are you open any evenings or Saturday?, are there more than one vet in the office?, etc.

Connecting with an office that has more than one vet has it’s benefits.  The office is always manned and you should be able to see any of the vets.

Other things to consider:  is the staff friendly and greet you and your pet promptly, is the office clean, does the office smell good…think of things that are important to you.  If you find ‘red flags’, keep shopping!!!

Another telephone picture

Yellow and orange girls

Hot pink girl

Lt Blue girl

Monday, Jan 1 – Happy New Year to everybody!!!  We wish all your resolutions will be long lasting!

The puppies continue to thrive.  They are all 2 pounds with Orange girl quickly heading towards the 3 pound mark.

Today was ‘personal grooming’ day for the puppies.  After each puppy was weighed, they had their toe nails trimmed.  No cries or blood….whew.  Each puppy has been imprinted.  This is desensitizing the puppies to having their ears or feet or tail messed with.  Hopefully, the imprinting will help with cleaning ears or trimming their nails.  

Now that their ears are opening and they can hear, we will start playing puppy learning CD’s and nursery rhymes.  I will also talk to the puppies and sing along with the CD’s.  They will also listen to Country music just because I do!!!

Other noises we will introduce are the vacuum, hair dryer, and anything else we think of.  We mix up what and when we do things so it doesn’t get boring.

We have a camera monitor that we watch to see what is going on.  We will see a puppy scoot from one side of the whelping box to find momma to nurse.  Won’t be long until they are up on all fours and quickly moving around the whelping box.

For those of you that would like to follow what is happening week by week, here is a website for you to go to:  https://www.thelabradorsite.com/puppy-development/.

Emma nursing puppies

All 5 puppies. Look for sliver of the ribbon on the far left puppy


Saturday, Dec 30 – I felt a little sick yesterday morning and Mark took over care of Emma and puppies.  If it had been the flu or strep throat, it wouldn’t be good for the puppies.    Today I am fine and took over Emma and puppies for supper feeding.  I think they have grown since yesterday morning!  

Do you see the pigment coming into Brown Boy’s nose?  In a few days, his nose and paw pads will be jet black.  The ‘eye liner’ will be the last black pigment to come.

A yellow lab without black pigment is called a Dudley.  There is no black pigment at all.  Some people breed for them but they are a fault/disqualifier in the lab show world.

Another oddity in labs is ‘mismarks’.  This is when a puppy has black or yellow spots.  Our Katie had our first mismarked puppy last spring.  We saw this faint circle of light grey but we thought it was newspaper ink from the potty papers.  Dr. Kaliff assured us it was black hair and showed us.  The puppy named Echo is a purebred lab with spots.  I’ll post a picture of Echo.

Emma is being such a good mom.  She finished her antibiotic and her whelping is a faint memory.  The puppies are all doing great also.  If you notice the legs stretched out behind the puppy, this is a sign of good hips. We love to see them lay this way.

Black female #2 will be joining the Elizabeth B. family.  Thank you for entrusting Mark and I with raising YOUR puppy.

Something to think about — your puppy is just about 2 weeks old.  In another 6 weeks they will be ready to go to their new homes.  I will write about ‘taking puppy home’, ‘puppy-proofing your home’, ‘the ride home’, ‘dog food’, ‘choosing a vet’, ‘easy reading’, plus a few more.

Enjoy the pictures!!!

Mismarks on Echo

Brown Male

puppies lay this way often

Thursday, Dec 28 – The puppies are being weighed twice a day.  Here is the weight they started at and the weight they are this morning.  Brown male:  13 ounces – 1 pound 8 ounces – which is an increase of 11 ounces.  Lt. Blue female:  10 ounces – 1 pound 6 1/2 ounces – which is an increase of 12.5 ounces.  Yellow female:  12 ounces – 1 pound 10 ounces – which is an increase of 14 ounces; Orange female:  14.5 ounces – 2 pounds – which is an increase of 17.5 ounces.  Last but not least Hot Pink female – 13 ounces – 1 pound 13 ounces – which is an increase of 16 ounces.  You can tell by the pictures that all the puppies are chubby.  

The rule of thumb is that puppies should double their birthweight by 10 days of age.

I laid my cell phone by the puppies so you can see how big they are.

Weights on 12-28, puppies are 7 days old

Tuesday, Dec 26 – I’ve always said our labs are ‘on the go’ kind of labs.  We seem to be grooming these puppies to be ‘on the go’ also.  Since their birth, they have traveled over 150 miles to and from the vet.  They say to have the puppies meet 100 people by the time they are 6 months old.  These little guys have met about 25 people just going to the vet!  

We went to Dr. Kaliff’s office this morning for a quick peak at Emma.  I thought Emma was getting mastitis but Dr. Kaliff said everything was ok.  We had the dewclaws removed from the puppies.  Dr. Kaliff looked at each puppy and was pleased.

Dr. Kaliff can’t believe how things turned around for Emma.  We thought we were going to lose her last Thursday morning and today she is producing enough milk to feed more puppies.  I thank God for the healing of Emma and her puppies.  Mark and I are so thankful that we aren’t supplementing puppies every 3 hours!!

The nose and paws of all yellow puppies are white when they are born.  The black pigment starts coming in when the puppies are a few days old and the areas are completely filled in within a couple of weeks of age.

The black puppies have their pigment at birth.

Are you wondering how Emma, a black lab, could have yellow and black puppies in the same litter?  Emma’s dad is yellow (Conrad) so she carries yellow.  A black carrying yellow will have black and yellow puppies when bred to a yellow stud.  Here is a website that gives examples of color inheritance:  www.blueknightlabs.com/color/coatcolor.html

Hot Pink Female – note she is standing on her legs

Orange Female – largest of the puppies

Lt Blue Female – petite

Brown Male – our only boy – note his nose and paws are not black yet

Yellow Female


I write the blog for a couple of reasons.  I want to share how we are raising YOUR puppy.  I want to keep YOU in the information loop so you truly know YOUR puppy.  Questions are welcome.

Monday, Dec 25 – Merry Christmas to you and yours.  The puppies’ official birthday is December 22.  It’s sad to tell everyone that we lost the little yellow female.  The remaining 4 black females and 1 yellow male are thriving!  We are no longer supplementing the puppies.  We are weighing them twice a day.  Should we see a puppy needing a little extra, we will be right on it.

Emma is being a terrific mom…nursing and cleaning the babies all the time.  She will go for bloodwork today just as a precautionary measure that we have her on the correct antibiotics.

We have started offering puppies.

–  Yellow male will be going to Jon G. and family.

– A black female will join Barbara and Dennis R. family.  They currently have another black lab named Baron.  Baron is a SeraXConrad puppy.

I will continue to offer puppies.

I’m having issues with pictures I’ve taken.  They are importing upside down.  I will continue to work on this!!




Saturday, Dec 23 – Emma and puppies are doing very well.  They spent yesterday at the vet so Dr. Kaliff could check blood work again.  With a 3-day weekend, she wanted to check everything, get her on antibiotics, and make sure we would be on the mend.  She has determined this was a result of significant blood loss.

The puppies have been weighed and given colored ribbons for identification.  Yellow male is brown, yellow female is pink, black female #1 is orange, black female #2 is light blue, black female #3 is orange, and black female #4 is hot pink.  Their weights range from 9 ounces to 16 ounces.  All are nursing and sleeping most of the day.  Emma is doing a great job cleaning them and stimulating them for pottying and pooing.  

Right now, we are supplementing the puppies every 3 hours to help Emma.  We are weighing the puppies twice a day to monitor gains and losses.

This is looking into the box the puppies went to the vet in oyster.  Note the yellow female climbing right up behind the black girls





Wednesday, Dec 20 – Today started out with no puppies.  We were thinking we would have puppies by morning.  I had an eye appointment at 9:30 am and Mark said he could handle things because I wouldn’t be gone long.  About 9:45 am I get a text.  Of course I expect him to be telling me we had a puppy.  No puppies but ‘bring lunch home’!  Remember it is 9:45 am and no where near lunch time.  

Our first puppy arrived about 6:00 pm, almost 24 hours from the onset of labor.  The next three puppies arrived 30 minutes apart.  Then Emma’s contractions got stronger but no puppy was born.  At 10:45 pm we were headed to Urgent Pet Care for evaluation.  An x-ray showed a puppy stuck in the birth canal in breech position.  The x-ray also showed there were 4 puppies waiting to be born.  The only remedy was a c-section to remove the stuck pup and deliver the remaining three puppies.

After what seemed like forever, the c-section was completed.  We lost two puppies that were in the birth canal but saved the other two puppies.  Now we have six live puppies – four black females, one yellow male, and one yellow female.

We arrived home about 4:30 am with Emma asleep in the van and the puppies on my lap with a warming bottle.  We carry Emma into the house and put her in the whelping box to nurse her puppies.  By now it is almost 5:30 am so I worked with the puppies to nurse and Mark went to bed for a couple of hours.

I contacted Dr. Kaliff that Emma wasn’t awake as the Urgent Pet Care vet said she would be.  Dr. Kaliff was concerned as well as Mark and me.  Emma was in shock, her blood pressure was low, her heart was racing, and she was dehydrated.   She and the puppies spent the day at our vet’s office.  We picked Emma and the puppies up about 7:00 pm and she was up walking but still very tired.  They will go back to Dr. Kaliff’s this morning for more blood work on Emma.  The puppies are doing great so they are just along for the ride!

Today is a new day and we are very hopeful that Emma will make a complete recovery and the puppies will continue to grow like weeds.  While Emma was under anesthesia, we asked that she be spayed.

All 6 puppies wearing white colors, 24 hours old

Tuesday, Dec 19 – Emma and I have been playing ‘let the dog out, let the dog in’ 5 times today, she has eaten 4 times and I’ve eaten 3 times today, and I’ve taken her temperature 4 times, no times for me.  She is continuing to eat and her temperature is starting to drop.

We bought a baby monitor today.  Those of you who know me, know I’m not the most graceful person and going up and down steps checking on Emma may lead to something unfortunate like a sprained ankle.  So we now have a monitor that I can carry around to watch Emma.  This will allow Emma to rest without all the interruptions to check her.

Emma started showing signs of labor about 8:00 tonight.  This is stage one and could last up to 24 hours…poor Emma.  As I am watching her on the monitor, she is asleep in the whelping box completely stretched out on her side.  She instinctively knows to get some rest before labor gets intense.

Stop back in the morning to see if we have puppies yet!!!

Monday, Dec 18 – Emma is one of our favorite girls here at Dusty Road Labradors.  Her Mom Claire was an exceptional girl also and her Dad is Conrad.  Emma got a double dose of ‘niceness and gentleness’ and passes her wonderful qualities to her puppies.  

Emma was bred to Keeper of Blue Heaven Labs for a repeat breeding.  She was a great Mom and her puppies were very nice.  In fact, our Shelby is from the spring Emma X Keeper litter.

Emma’s due date is December 21.  My daughter Lisa is concerned that I won’t be able to make Christmas Eve brunch if Emma is late.  Be on time Emma!!!

Emma came to the house today.  We turned my basement sewing room to our delivery/whelping room.  The whelping box is 4’x4′ and the waiting room is about 6’x4′.  The waiting room is where I will be sleeping for a couple nights waiting for the puppies to arrive.  We have several heating apparatus while the puppies are in the whelping box.  The whelping box will be kept at about 80 degrees for the first 10 days.  We don’t want the puppies to get cold.

I’m posting the x-ray taken of Emma last week.  We are expecting 7 or 8 puppies (or more!!!).  There is a picture taken of Emma about 2 weeks ago and pictures taken in just the last few days.

Just a reminder to those on Emma’s list….I will send an e-mail telling you how many, colors, and sexes plus a few pictures.  We will not be notifying anyone if they get a puppy until AFTER 72 hours.  The first 72 hours are when puppies are sometimes lost.  Plus, I’m totally concentrating on the puppies.

Emma day 46 of 64

Resting comfortably

Whelping box with heat lamp

Emma’s x-ray…do you see the skulls and skeletons?

Posted in: EMMA'S BLOG