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.

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
April 11, 2017

Katie and Emma’s Puppy Blog

I started the blog off with the most recent entries at the bottom.  I am going to put recent entries on the top so you don’t have to scroll down to the bottom of the page when you want to catch up.  


The time has come to put the whelping supplies away, put away all the play area toys, and finish up the paperwork for each litter,  Everything has been cleaned and packed away for the next litter.

It’s always lots of work when you have two litters as close together as we did.  But the excitement of ‘having puppies’ is so strong that one doesn’t seem to remember all the bumps in the road.

Katie’s was a great mom.  Her delivery was normal and she took such good care of her puppies.

Emma’s puppies, however, were so small that they scared me.  How do I take care of such small puppies.  As the vets kept telling us, they were healthy!!

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.

Now that all the puppies have gone to their new homes, I look back at having two litters and think ‘it wasn’t that bad’ with a smile. I talk about the puppies as if there wasn’t ever a concern. I look at pictures and see happy, healthy puppies!

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 happy or sad tears I shed.

Katie and Emma did the very best job they could to start these puppies off on the right path.  They nurtured, cleaned, and fed their babies 24/7.  When they weaned their puppies, Mark, and I not only cleaned and fed these beautiful puppies but it was our responsibility to prepare them for their new lives.

Now it is YOUR turn. YOU must continue rearing these puppies, supplying lots of love and TLC.  You are ready to use instinct and the tools you have gained over the years to allow these puppies 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 Emma’s ‘triplets’.

A very big thank you goes to Dr. Melody Kaliff and all the staff at Animal Clinic Suburban for the exceptional care they gave both moms and puppies.  What an amazing vet you are!




Happy July 4th to everyone!  Hope you all celebrated American’s independence!!

The past few days were filled with excitement as three puppies went home.

On Thursday, Jarred and Sara (and Sara’s sister) picked up DK BLUE who is now Parker.  We let Parker play in the play area while we went over paperwork.  Being 2 weeks older, Parker is more mature than ‘the triplets’.

On Sunday, Tom, Becky, Josh, and Ben picked up PINK who now is Lucy.  They fell in love with her when they visited last weekend.  Lucy will join their first lab from Dusty Road Labradors, Charlie Brown.  Charlie’s collar was BROWN.  It was a surprise to us how much their boys had grown.  We know Lucy will have a great home!


On Monday, Joan and Frances picked up LAVENDAR who now is Millie.  Joan and I have talked on the phone and exchanged several e-mails so it felt like we’ve known each other for years.  Joan was taken with emotions seeing LAVENDAR for the first time and holding the puppy she had been waiting for since May 7.  We wish Joan and Millie much success in their training and preparing to be a certified therapy dog.



The final puppy selections have been made.  We hope everyone is happy with their new puppies they will be picking up in a few days.

Katie’s DK BLUE is going to Jarred and Sara.  She will go home on Thursday.

Emma’s PINK is going to repeat buyers Tom, Becky, Josh, and Ben.  She will go home on Sunday.

Emma’s LAVENDAR is going to Joan to be a therapy dog.  She will go home next Monday possibly sooner.


Emma’s Yellow is staying here at Dusty Road Labradors.

DK BLUE will be a wonderful family pet.  We feel YELLOW has more of the qualities of a show/breeding dog.  This was a tough decision because we REALLY love DK BLUE.  We know Jarred and Sara will be great parents to DK BLUE.

Thank you to all of you who patiently let the selection process work.  Things would be quicker if these little puppies got their personalities about 4 weeks of age instead of 6 weeks of age.


We begin the count down to all the puppies going to their new homes.  Today we are taking the puppies to Dori’s to evaluate Katie’s DK. BLUE and Emma’s YELLOW and PURPLE.  The decision will be made as to which puppy we are keeping.  Those on the list will know shortly which puppy they will be taking home.  One puppy will go home on Thursday evening, one Sunday, and the final puppy will head to Minnesota on Monday.

Previous puppy buyers Tom and Becky and their sons visited on Saturday.  Their male at home wore a BROWN collar.  They bought BROWN and surprised the boys.  The boys were not aware of the surprise Mom and Dad had been working on.  BROWN is named Charlie Brown.  Whichever little girl they receive (and I know their first pick!!!) will be called Lucy.

We are very impressed with Emma’s triplets.  Their personalities are calm and quiet, and they love to cuddle. They are receiving their final worming before going to their new homes.  They are eating three times a day.  We are soaking their food for about 15 minutes before feeding them.  Those little white teeth are chewing up the food just fine.

They enjoy playing in the play yard but the activity is much calmer with 3 puppies than 8 puppies.





YELLOW top, PINK awake, and PURPLE stretched out


Today we took Emma’s three puppies to see Dr. Nelson in Dr. Kaliff’s absence.  I have worried quite a bit about these beautiful little girls.  Would being born so little make them be ‘miniature labs’?  — NO  Would they be behind in development? — NO  Will they be ready to go to their new homes at 8 weeks? — YES  Should we keep and of them longer? — NO

Dr. Nelson gave all three puppies a thorough exam finding healthy, socialized puppies.  Their weights are just about the same as Katie’s larger pups at 6 weeks old.  I was told they are on track and ready to go home at 8 weeks.

I know this has been a slow process of picking our puppy.  We will be comparing YELLOW female with DARK BLUE female keeping only one puppy.  We will evaluate on Monday and everyone will take a puppy home on the weekend.


We set the alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual to get ready to send four puppies home today.  Their area wasn’t quite so messy and did take a little less time to clean but 5 puppies still make quite a mess.

First up is Bill and Linda.  We met Bill and Linda just about a year ago.  Their vet at Animal Clinic Suburban told them about us and they came to visit the litter we had at that time.  This was a very special visit for us.  We are used to kids and grandkids but they brought Bill’s Mom and Dad who were 12.857 years old in dog years.  My first thought was if they would enjoy seeing puppies and visiting.  No worry — they laughed and enjoyed seeing the puppies play in the play yard.  Bill’s Dad told stories that kept you in stitches.  Thanks for allowing us to share an afternoon with your parents!

Bill and Linda chose LIGHT BLUE and her name is now Abby.  Abby will go live with a 4-legged brother.

Next is Jeanne and Ray.  They are #1 male pick and will be taking ORANGE home with them.  His name is now Panzer.  Jeanne was a patient of a doctor who had bought a puppy HARVEY a couple of years ago.  During an appointment, the conversation turned to labs.  Well Greg showed a video of HARVEY to Jeanne and she called as soon as she got home to get on our list.  Jeanne was bit by the ‘puppy bug’ and now is taking Panzer home thanks to Greg’s video.

We had a short break before Amanda and Craig arrived.  They are taking home PURPLE female who now is Daisy May.  We feel PURPLE will be a good addition to their growing family of 3 1/2 kids.  When the family visited, all the kids were excited with the puppies.  In fact, their youngest boy loved playing with the puppy play station and toys!  Amanda wrote later that Daisy May slept most of the trip home.


Last but not least is Beth.  Beth is picking up PINK female who she has named Echo.  PINK female is unique as she is a mismarked lab.  She has two patches of black hair — yes black hair — on her back.  When we went to Dr. Kaliff, we thought it was newspaper ink and I apologized for not having taken the time to clean her up.  Dr. Kaliff told us it wasn’t newspaper ink.  Beth is thrilled to have Echo to be her companion dog.

Our job now is to transfer DARK BLUE to the house and the 3 puppies to the barn but we are just dog tired.  After a short nap, we were regenerated and got the transfer made.

DK BLUE in a large pan

Asleep in a large pan


Today two more puppies are going home.  Two more puppies to bath and get ready to meet their new parents.

Ken and Lisa are first.  When it was their turn to pick #2 male puppy, Lisa called and asked if they could pick when they picked up their puppy.  Upon posting new pictures of RED and GREEN, remaining two males, Lisa called and they had made their decision.  They would be taking RED home. Lisa knew RED was ‘their’ puppy!  RED will now be Ranger.  He will be joining a big brother with 4 legs.


Next is Brooke and Jeffry to pick up #3 male puppy.  When I called Brooke that they would be taking GREEN home, she was thrilled saying ‘that’s the puppy we wanted!”.  Brooke and Jeffry will be helped with GREEN by Jeffry’s parents.  It always helps when others are around for noon feeding or a quick potty break!


Today our first puppy goes home.  Today Tom and Linda, along with their granddaughter,  are picking up BROWN female.  They wanted the calmest puppy and I hope BROWN will fill their hearts with joy.


Let’s talk about Puppy Safety. Our Emma was hurt as a young puppy playing with her Dad (90#). Conrad is gentle but we have seen him roll Emma and thump her on the rump with one of his large paws. She always jumped to her feet going back for more fun.

The limp didn’t improve so at 6 months of age Emma was diagnosed with bilateral cruciate ligament avulsions. Bilateral means both knees were affected and both knees need surgery to repair the cranial cruciate ligament.

Watch children as they hold your puppy. NEVER let them walk and carry the puppy unless you know they are old enough to do this. A dropped puppy will make everyone shed a few tears and could possibly hurt the puppy.

We always travel in the car with our dogs in the black wire crates. Once I tried to let Pippa sit up with me on the way to a Therapy Dog appointment. She was a nervous wreck by they time we reached the school. She rode home in the crate. I’ve never attempted this again. If you are going to travel with your puppy loose in the car, please give some thought to what will happen and where your puppy will land if you need to put on the brakes in a hurry or swerve. I don’t think you can call an ambulance for your puppy!

When you leave a collar on your puppy, make sure the area he/she are in doesn’t have anything that can catch the collar. This is particularly a problem when you have a choke collar on your puppy.

Your puppy will investigate and chews on everything he finds. This includes a bucket of water that he could fall into and not get out, your iron cord that is plugged in, and something so simple as a bag of trash. Check your houseplants to make sure they are not toxic to dogs. Barbie dolls and socks are puppy favorites.

Let’s talk about pet insurance.  If you are like Mark and me, we thought pet insurance was for those rich people.  Well it’s for everyone who wants to have financial help with medical bills.  Our insurance on Maggie will expire the end of the month.  Her renewal is $275 next year.  This is $10,000 coverage with $350 deductible and 80% pay.  

Last year Pippa, Conrad, and pup named Mona all had surgery.  Pippa also was treated for Lepto.  One girl had a c-section involving the Urgent Care Vet to take care of .  She spend 3 days at Dr. Kaliff’s office and 3 nights at Urgent Care.  Last year we won $100 for being the clinics’ best customer.  We NEVER want to have that title again!!!

If we had pet insurance on any of the four dogs, we would be money ahead.  Please consider Pet Insurance as the benefits are wonderful during a bad time.  

Our insurance is thru Pet Plan.  There are many others out there to choose from.  Do not buy insurance where you have to go to one facility.  Get insurance that covers even when you are in vacation.  


Today friends Marcia and Todd stopped by for a puppy visit.  They liked ALL your puppies!  They enjoyed watching the puppies play in the play yard.

As we prepare for Katie’s puppies to go to their new homes, we have scheduled all the pickup times.  If I have you down for the wrong time, please let me know.  Thursday, June 15:  11:00 Linda and Tom will pick up Brown female; Friday, June 16:  11:00 Ken and Lisa will pickup Ranger (Red male) and 12:30 Brooke and Jeffrey will pick up Green male.  Saturday, June 17:  10:30 Bill and Linda will pickup Abby (Lt. Blue female), 12:00 Jean and Ray will pick up Panzer (Orange male), 3:30 to 4:00 Amanda will pickup Purple female, and 5:00 Beth will pick up Echo (Pink female).

Don’t forget a towel or two if you are going to hold your puppy on your lap.  The puppies have had two car rides with no one getting sick.  For those of you driving a ways home, please bring bottled water in case your puppy needs a drink.  I don’t think I would feed them on the road for fear of getting car sick.

If you have to potty your puppy, go to an out of the way area where other dogs haven’t been.  We just heard that canine flu is in the area.  It has been responsible for several deaths.  Also parvo and lepto bacteria are around and are bacteria you don’t want your puppy to come in contact with.


Emma’s puppies are playing in their water and don’t seem to get full.  They are getting fed 1 cup four times a day and there is nothing left!!  They are playing more and sleeping a bit less.  Here are pictures of Emma’s puppies:





The female puppies have all been selected.  PINK – Beth; Lt BLUE – Bill and Linda; BROWN – Tom and Linda; PURPLE – Amanda and family; and Dk BLUE – us.  We are happy with the puppy selections and feel the puppies have been chosen for the right homes.

Today Dori Lenaeus of Blue Heaven Labradors, Keeper’s owner, stopped to see the puppies.  It’s always good to have someone with 30 years of labrador breeding experience to look at the puppies of a 10-year breeder.  Dori was pleased with the puppies. We both picked Dk BLUE as the female to keep from Katie’s litter.

Bringing puppy home. We recommend you have a kennel for your puppy. Your puppy will mature to needing a 36′′ or 42′′ kennel so purchase one with a divider so you can make the kennel size appropriate for your puppy. If it the right size, the puppy will learn not to soil where it sleeps. If it is too large, you will have lots of accidents. The right size is just enough for the puppy to turn around. I have an article in the puppy packets on kennel training to help you start potty training.

Don’t waste your money on fancy dog blankets or pads. Unfortunately, the puppy will chew on them and possibly DESTROY what you hope will last quite a while. A thick towel or an old rug will work just fine. We do not put anything in the kennel with fringe. They will eat it off and this could cause stomach problems.

We suggest you get a couple plush toys that can be washed. Again, they will chew on them. We recommend a couple of squeaky toys and a nyla bone to chew on. Make sure what you get is for puppies. Watch where your treats are made. We purchase only those things MADE IN THE USA. Preparing your home. Put away any knick knacks, family pictures, Grandma’s doilies, and anything else that is at the puppy’s level. Remove all exposed electrical cords and put all plants up high. Check on the plants you have to see if they are toxic to dogs. Decide where your puppy’s kennel will be in your house. Remember the puppy will want to be with you and the family.


All the male puppies have been selected.  Ken and Lisa will be taking RED home.  Brooke will be taking home GREEN.

The female puppy selection will begin soon — with us.  We know how you guys feel picking a puppy.  Even though we have spent lots of time with all the puppies, we are finding picking our puppy to be daunting.

The puppies are playing in the play area at least 4 times a day.  The jumps and slides are becoming more balanced and sure footed.  We are seeing less near misses jumping on the exercise step.

The trio is eating 4 times a day with Emma nursing once a day.  She is just about done nursing but once a day is good for her and her puppies.  They received their 3rd worming at 5 weeks.  They have a new area divided like the other puppies area.  They are doing great pooping on the newspapers in one end and playing in the other.

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 velcro 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!



Katie’s litter are eating 3 times a day and doing very well.  We are trying to feed the last meal about 8:00 pm which will be the time most of you feed their last meal.

The first male selection has been made.  Jeanne and Ray have chosen ORANGE for their new family member.  We are working to set up pickup times and dates.

You may take your puppy home on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.  We want you to be able to spend as much time with your puppy as you can on the weekend.  We know it is Father’s Day so we will be very accommodating to getting everyone on their way home as soon as possible.

Emma’s puppies are doing so well that it’s hard to remember all the problems we had in the beginning.  Emma is still nursing her puppies and cleaning up after them.  As long as she is willing to clean up after the puppies, it safes me lots of time.

Today we are putting the whelping box away.  We will set up an area with a potty area here in the mudroom.

All of the puppies will be wormed this weekend.  Katie’s puppies will receive their last worming from us.  Emma’s puppies will have one more worming after the worming this weekend.

Choosing a vet for your puppy. Many of you are first time puppy owners. You will need to find a good vet now. We encourage you to take your puppy to your vet for an exam and you will need to take your puppy to the vet at 10 weeks for their second vaccinations.

How do you find a vet? The best way is to ask your friends who they use and why they would recommend them. If they sound like someone you would like to build a relationship with, give them a call. Many vets will spend a few minutes with you if you call and explain that you would like to meet them and see their office before you get your puppy.

Visit with the staff. Ask them about wait time when you arrive. Ask them how quickly they can get you in when your puppy needs seen right away.

Is the office calm or a ‘hot mess’? I like an office that is calm and welcoming. Professionalism is important to me as well as organization. These things tell me this is a good vet clinic.

Look at the office. Is it clean? Does it smell good? Is the waiting room big enough that you aren’t right beside another dog or cat? Is it a modern facility or does it need upgrading of it’s x-ray machines?

Ask about their fees. We have found that most vets charge about the same for vaccinations. The office visit fee will vary greatly so make sure you know that. Hopefully, you will only need to see the vet for the second and third set of vaccinations, fecal exams, Rabies shot, and spaying or neutering. Non-routine visits will cost you more.

Pink of Katie’s litter

Emma’s puppies eating breakfast


What a great weekend we have had.  We had visitors on Saturday.  Puppy buyer Brooke and family visited to look at the males.  I had to check their purses when they left because they liked all three of the males!!!

Daughter Stacey and kids stopped by for a ‘puppy fix’.

Mark and I put the puppies in the play area when Brooke visited.  We added a wobble-board which is puppy size and interactive toys.

We started feeding the puppies 3 times a day.  Hopefully, they will be ok with 2 feedings a day when they go home.

Our vet visit went excellent.  Dr. Kaliff was pleased with all of the puppies.  They received a thorough exam and all passed with flying colors.  Each puppy will receive a puppy packet from Dr. Kaliff including a heart worm prevention to be given on July 1, 2017.

A previous puppy was at the vet also so we got to see Harvey owned by Greg out of Sera and Conrad.  What a handsome boy!  Claire was rehomed to Amy and she had been there earlier in the day.  Claire is Emma’s mom.

Today we had more puppy buyers here to see the puppies.  Linda and Bill are picking a female puppy.  To help with their selection, Bill took lots and lots of pictures.  With his permission, I am posting the link to his pictures.  Enjoy!!

Beth was out this morning to look at the females.  She took lots of pictures also and will send them to me.
Our last visitors were Jeanne and Ray to look at the male puppies.  They were complimentary and said all of the puppies would be welcome in their home.  No decision was made today on their pick.

Emma’s puppies are now on all fours and walking around the whelping box.  They have started eating 4 times a day.  Hard to believe Katie’s puppies were ever that small.




I can’t believe it is already June!  I also can’t believe that Katie’s 8 beauties will be 6 weeks old this weekend!!

Tomorrow Katie’s puppies will go to Dr. Kaliff for their thorough puppy exam and first vaccination.  The office is ready for us with lots of time allocated and puppy packets for all.  We will take 2 kennels and divide the puppies.  This helps Mark lift the kennel out of the van when we get there.

The puppies are 100% going to the papered area to potty.  We no longer have messes in the heating area.  Sure helps cleaning up after the group.

We completely strip down the potty area every morning.  We pick up poop and lay another layer of papers the other 3 times.  The puppies are still eating 4 times a day.  We will start reducing to 3 times a day next week.

We put the play area together this morning.  Tonight they will spend a little time in their checking out all the activities.

Play area

GREEN and RED Males

PINK Female taking a nap after breakfast


Emma’s trio are doing fantastic.  They are little bundles of fur!  They are playing and getting very steady on their feet.  Emma is becoming comfortable out of the whelping box and enjoys her time with Pippa outside.

PINK female taking a nap

Let’s talk about Heartworm medication and flea and tick prevention.  Every month you should give your puppy a heartworm medication and flea and tick prevention.  Heartworm med is given every 30 days and works on the previous 30 days to disrupt the heart worm cycle if your puppy was bitten by an infected mosquito during the previous 30 days.  This med is given by weight so you may have to purchase individual tablets from your vet until your puppy is 50# or so.  Your vet will suggest an appropriate brand for your puppy.  

Frontline Plus is one of the most popular brands of flea and tick prevention.  There are new products that allow you to give a pill, many products that you apply to the back of the puppy, and collars that last 8 months.  Flea and tick prevention works for 30 days to prevent ticks, flea infestations, and mosquito and fly biting.  Again, your vet will suggest an appropriate brand for your puppy.  

PLEASE DON’T LET YOUR VET SUGGEST NEXGARD FOR YOUR PUPPY.  Mark and I were babysitting our daughter’s 10-year old little dog Precious.  Before coming here,  we asked that Precious be up-to-date on her vaccinations, be on heart worm prevention, and have flea and tick protection.   She was her for 4 days when she started having problems with her balance and started seizing.  I’ve seen a dog have a seizure but this was horrible.  Her vet linked this to Nexgard and contacted Nexgard.  They are assuming the vet bills.  Precious passed away this morning.


Happy Memorial Weekend to everyone!  For those traveling, stay safe; for those of us staying home, don’t work too hard!!!  We have a busy puppy weekend planned.  All of the puppies are completing their 3-day worming.  We also are setting up the play area at the barn for Katie’s puppies.

Katie’s puppies are becoming comedians.  They run around chasing each other, bite their siblings’ tails, steal toys, share toys, and do something between running and skipping.  They will be 5 weeks old tomorrow.  They are going to Dr. Kaliff on Friday for their exam and vaccination.  Later this week we plan to get them outside in the sunshine.

As we’ve talked before, their personalities are starting to be seen.  We are spending individual time with each of them during the day.  They already love to cuddle!!

The half-pints are becoming pudgy puppies.  They are up on all fours and walking around the whelping box.  No speed yet but they are working on it!!!  Emma has become such a good mom and loves her puppies.

As we are getting close to Katie’s litter going to their new homes, I want to take a minute and cover some of the important things to help you prepare for your puppy.  I will put this information in red so you won’t miss it.

Let’s talk about dog food! Talking dog food amongst ‘dog people’ is like talking religion or politics. Some times it’s just best to keep your opinions to yourself.

We are feeding the puppies NutriSource Large Breed Puppy Food Chicken and Rice. It is available at TSC, Bomgaars, and Menards.  It may be found at pet stores but not at PetSmart or PetCo.  It comes in small bags and 33 # bags.  The shelf life is great so you can have a bag ahead.  

Please pick up a bag of this food before getting your puppy. If you chose to switch to another food, make a gradual switch. If you would like to see how your dog food rates, there is a website that rates dog food from 1 star to 5 star. This is www.dogfoodadvisor. I know there are other sources out there that are helpful.

When you are looking at the label of any dog food, watch for the following words:
“By-Products” This is basically anything on the floor that is left over…chicken feet, berks, etc. …AVOID
“Corn and Wheat” This is a filler but can cause allergies to some dogs…AVOID

Last, don’t let those companies that do thousands of dollars in advertising sway you. Choose the dog food that meets your dog’s needs and your budget. Make sure the dog food can be found in a couple of different stores just in case they are out what you need.  

It is a known fact that when you feed better dog food you have less stools in the yard and their consistency is firm making the stools easy to pick up.  When you feed a better dog food, you do not need to add any supplements because your dog food is complete.  

When you feed table scraps or too many treats, you upset the nutritional balance so avoid table scraps and feed small treats.


Didn’t realize I haven’t added to the blog in quite a few days.  Sorry.  Both litters are doing well.  The work has increased tremendously!

Let me tell you about Katie’s litter.  On Saturday we changed the puppy area to a much bigger area.  We divided it with a PVC pipe.  One side is the potty area and the other side is their playing and eating area.  They did very well the remainder of Saturday and Sunday.

This morning we soon realized we needed two area for play and one bit larger area for their potty area.  They now have the entire 8’x8′ area.  1/3 is potty area and 2/3 is play and eating area.  During the day we are seeing more potty in the potty area and this will continue to improve.  This is the beginning of potty training.

All of Katie’s litter are over 5# many heading quickly to 6#.  They are being fed 4 times a day.  I measured their meals and they are about 5 cups of puppy food, formula, and water mixed in a soft gruel consistency.  5 cups sounds like a lot but it divides down to about 2/3 of a cup each.  Some will get a bit more and some a bit less.  Katie is no longer nursing so they are completely on gruel.

Their teeth are in!!!  Now that I am ‘in their space’ so much, they have found my socks, shoes, shoe strings, and pant legs.  They do make it hard to carefully move around the space with one or two puppies hanging onto my pant legs….just part of the daily routine!!!

Welcome to the nursery!

carrying toy into potty area

Wet spots on newspaper already

A few found my feet

Many have found my pant legs and shoes

It’s fun watching them play

Katie’s last nursing

All eight puppies at birth. I think Katie has done a great job as a first time mom.


Emma’s girls are gaining and starting to stand up on all fours.  They wiggle and try to move but their little legs fold under them.  Up again to try again!  They are getting really fun to watch.  They have their eyes open and the pigment is in their nose and paws.  In no way do they look like the thin puppies we had 2 weeks ago.

The puppies have had their nails trimmed and were wormed at 2 weeks of age.  Their next worming will be at 3 weeks of age.

Emma is being a wonderful mom.  She is very protective of her puppies but will let Pippa walk by the puppies going out and in the back door.

Puppies nursing



YELLOW yawning





Hope everyone has survived the storms we’ve had last night and today.  While I was making supper tonight, Mark called me outside.  There were two beautiful rainbows.  I quickly got my camera and took a picture of the inside rainbow.  We are always thankful when we have bad weather with no destruction.

We have been letting Katie in with the puppies once a day.  She will nurse under duress but is more interested in cleaning up after them.  It sure helps me!!!  Suppertime was Katie’s time to nurse the puppies today.  We then fed the puppies their gruel.  You can see how the area looked after their meal.  Just like feeding toddlers…and then they took a nap!!

Emma’s half pints are continuing to gain weight.  I had planned on talking to Dr. Kaliff but we noticed Emma had some drainage that needed checked out.  Where Emma goes, her 3 little girls go too.  Dr. Kaliff was very happy with the puppies.  Their weight was good, they were squirming and doing other things ‘age appropriate’.  Dr. Kaliff also checked for umbilical hernias and cleft pallets.  None were found.   She gave the puppies a clean bill of health and she has no concerns about them growing into normal size, healthy adult dogs.

While puppies sleep, they move, they jerk, and they sometimes make noises.  I caught Pink deep in sleep.  It looked like she was doing exercises.  She would bring both front and back legs up until they almost touched.  Then she would lower them down.  This went on for quite a few minutes.  Some say they are growing, some say they are ‘chasing rabbits’!


I hope all you Moms out there had a wonderful day yesterday!  We celebrated Mother’s Day Saturday with my Mom and my two daughters.  Yesterday Mark and I paid some special attention to Katie and Emma and the pups.

Katie’s puppies are all like little polar bears.  We have started feeding her puppies 4 times a day.  She has been a good mom but she doesn’t have enough milk for all of them.  She still wants in after we feed or clean the area.  It’s like she is checking on them and then she lays quietly away from them.

When the puppies are thru lapping their formula/mush, I sit down and they come over to be loved on.  They are inquisitive and the playing with other is just starting.

We have changed the whelping pads for newspapers.  Katie is still cleaning them.  This really helps me now that I am on cleaning/feeding duty 4 times a day.

The puppies turned 3 weeks yesterday.  They were all wormed again at 3 weeks.  Next worming is at 5 weeks.




Emma’s little half pints are doing fantastic!!!  All three are over 1#.  You will see by the pictures that they look like every other puppy.  They are scooting around the whelping box and let out occasional squeals when mom is giving them a bath or they just want to nurse.

We will probably never know why these puppies were half the weight of other puppies.  We have had great support from Dr. Kaliff assuring us these little girls are going to be fine.  Dr. Kaliff went thru the rearing of 2 10-ounce runts with us.  We have seen both of these ‘runts’ and they are gorgeous full size dogs.

At this time, we have not offered these 3 puppies.  I will be talking to Dr. Kaliff tomorrow for the go ahead to offer these girls.


Emma’s puppies 1 week old






Katie’s puppies starting having a little puppy formula today.  We are noticing Katie just can’t keep up with all 8 puppies needing lots of milk to grow.  Once the puppy teeth erupt, Katie will not want to nurse 8 puppies with sharp teeth!

When the puppies first start nursing, they are in a neat, tidy line.  As the faucets are emptied, they check out the faucets to their left and then right.  If they can’t find any milk, the will climb over the others checking out milk supply the entire time.

This weekend they will receive their 2nd worming.  Weights are still being taken once a day.

The puppies are starting to respond to voice.  When I enter the room and I tell them hello, they all turn their heads towards me.  They are all bright eyed with their tails wagging as I reach over the fence to pet them.  They are impatient to wait their turn.

I’m working on taking individual pictures and possibly a video.  This week has been preoccupied by Emma’s puppies.

First time lapping puppy formula

Puppies licking milk off each other

Katie nursing puppies with a little encouragement

nursing ending — faucets are empty

We are saddened that we lost Emma’s male puppy.  He was not gaining weight so we took him away from Emma.  We had him in a warm box and fed him every 3 hours.  We wonder if Emma knew there was something wrong.  She was constantly licking and nudging him as to tell him to nurse more or stay close to keep warm.

The remaining 3 females are doing great.  One weighed in this morning at 1 pound.  WOW, what a good feeling to see these girls gaining weight.  They look like healthy puppies finally.

We are cautiously optimistic that they are out of the woods.  We have not offered puppies yet but plan to early next week.  We have been in contact Dr. Kaliff each day discussing the puppies.  The first thing she asks is if they are gaining weight.  Since they are gaining weight, that is an easy question.

Yellow female, Pink female, and Lavender female

Emma and puppies



Katie’s puppies are growing like weeds.  They are walking around their whelping area which Mark has made the walls that protect them from getting out about 5 PVS pipes high.  You will see in one picture a puppy trying to crawl up on the pig rail.  Won’t be long until they have the entire front area.

They all got their toe nails trimmed again today.  I spent quite a bit of time loving each of them.  They are all over 3 pounds.  Katie is nursing well but I noticed there are puppy teeth erupting.  This is usually a determining factor in mom weaning her puppies.  We will start feeding the puppies this weekend to help this transition from Katie to gruel.

Green Male

Looking out at me

It’s 6 PVC pipes around pig rail

I think I can

We are having quite a time with Emma.  Some mothers are naturals but Emma isn’t.  She has a 4×4 whelping box with a large heater in it to keep the puppies warm.  We have a curtain across the door from the kitchen to the mudroom.  We think she has a pretty good set up but she isn’t happy.  She continues to move her puppies to behind the whelping box by the back door.  We put an extra rail on the whelping box to deter her jumping out.

All four of the puppies are gaining weight.  The male puppy isn’t gaining as well and Emma likes to carry him making him a drolly puppy.  I’m keeping him separate for a few days to help him keep warm and have regular feedings.

Due to the puppies being small and fragile, we will not be removing the dew claws.  If they had been normal weight, we would have removed the dew claws between day 3 and 5.

We have been in contact with Dr. Kaliff at least twice a day since the puppies were born.  I have to admit that Emma’s puppies really shocked us but we are doing fine taking care of these little angels.

Emma trying to ‘hide’ her puppies

Puppies 24 hours old

Oleo container to help you visualize the size of the puppies

The tail area must be warm!

Do you think Emma is spoiled?

All 4 puppies

I ask if anyone has questions or things I can cover in the blog.  One person asked how we take care of the two litters.  This is our 2nd or 3rd time of having 2 litters at one time.  It’s much easier when there aren’t problems but that isn’t the typical litter of puppies.

Emma’s mom had Emma’s litter at the same time another mom delivered.  The other mom delivered about day 58 which is considered preemie.  We lost 4 out of 7 puppies.  The remaining 3 puppies grew at different rates with one becoming the size of Emma’s litter.  We did an experiment and swapped the smallest of Emma’s litter for the big puppy of the other litter.  This time is was advantageous to have 2 litters.  One thing is true…we always say we will never have 2 litters at the same time.  Mother nature doesn’t help at all.  When one female comes into heat, the others come in also.  We could have had 3 litters!!!

The first 72 hours are critical and even a 1# puppy is small.  Next is the next 2 weeks.  During the first week Mark is my right hand man while I imprint, trim nails, weigh daily, check mom.  After that, Mark does a lot with the puppies.  Kinda like some people don’t like to hold newborn human babies.

While I’m caring for Emma’s litter, Mark is taking care of Katie and her pups.  He is weighing them and sharing what he sees with me.  We do puppy wormings together double checking weights and dosage of worming meds.

Mark and I work well together if it’s doing lawn work or raising puppies.  Our expectations of each litter are the same so our ways of doing things doesn’t change without discussion.



It was a busy weekend for Mark and me!!!  I’ll start with Katie.  Katie and puppies were moved to the nursery on Saturday after Emma’s temperature dropped.  I led Katie as Mark carried a box of babies weighing almost 25 pounds.

Katie’s puppies have a much bigger area which will grow into a much larger area as they grow.  These puppies are HUGE compared to Emma’s new puppies.

Today Katie’s puppies and Katie will be wormed.  The puppies eyes are opening and they now hear things.  I will start playing sounds and nursery rhymes for the puppies.  This is part of our imprinting/desensitizing program.

I’m going to combine the blogs for both litters of puppies.  I will add pictures after each update.

move to nursery

I write my blogs from my heart to share with you the first 8 weeks of your puppys’ life but also to share that having puppies can be the best of times but sometimes the worst of times.  Emma’s litter was the best and the worst of times.

Emma is the first homegrown female we kept to have puppies.  Emma is a Conrad and Claire daughter.  Claire has since been retired and placed in a wonderful home.  Emma is such a wonderful gal that I guess my expectations were very high for this litter.

Emma went into labor on Saturday.  The first puppy arrived at 10:50 am and the last puppy arrived at 2:50 pm on Sunday.  It was a long day as we waited for these puppies.  The first puppy was stillborn, our only black female puppy.  There were no other black puppies which was very disappointing.

The next 4 yellow puppies born are 1 male puppy and 3 female puppies.  Another shock came when we first saw these puppies.  We thought ‘how small’ the puppies were.  Our thoughts were correct.  Our puppies are usually right at 16 ounces.  This entire litter ranged from 7 ounces to 10 ounces.  Although they are small, they all nursed as soon as they were born.  That’s the best of times.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, we thought there were 6 puppies.  Because labor and contractions stopped, a call was made to Urgent Care.  If there was a remaining puppy, it had to be removed thru labor or c-section.  Another best of times, there was not another puppy which meant no c-section.

When we got home, Emma nursed the puppies again.  I slept in the kitchen and responded to Emma’s every need.  She would cry when they got too far from her as if saying come back here.  I would wrangle them back to her and put them on her to nurse.  Sometimes I would hear a puppy crying that he was on her backside when she rearranged herself.  Sometimes I could feel the frustration that Emma was having keeping track of these four puppies.  What would she have done with 8 or more puppies???

Sometimes Emma wraps her paws around the puppies as if to tell me ‘these are mine and I can take care of them’!

The best of things would have been to have enough puppies for everyone on my list.  The absolute worst of times is not having enough puppies and having to disappoint each of you.  Some have been on the list for quite a while, some not so long.  Some of you were buying your first puppy while many of you were adding to your family.  No matter the reason you were on our list, we are sincerely sorry that you won’t be getting a puppy.


first yellow female

Just a few hours old; mom’s leg looks like a puppy

Emma resting on my arm



Katie’s puppies are 11 days old.  I checked their weights today with their birth weights and they all have doubled their weights as expected.  Here are birth and today’s weights:  Dk Blue Female:  15 ounces/2 pounds 5 ounces; Pink Female:  15 ounces/2 pounds 9 ounces; Lavender Female:  15 ounces/2 pounds 3 ounces; Brown Female:  13 ounces/2 pounds 2 ounces; Lt Blue Female:  12 ounces/2 pounds 5 ounces; Green Male:  17 ounces/2 pounds 7 ounces; Red Male:  15 ounces/2 pounds 6 ounces; and Orange Male:  15 ounces/2 pounds 8 ounces.  We are weighing twice a day and will continue until they are 3 weeks old.

I recommend you order this book to help you with your puppy.  It is PUPPY KINDERGARTEN by Miriam Fields-Babineau.  I’ve ordered some on Amazon for $3 to $5.  It is very basic and explains how to begin training your puppy AS SOON AS IT GETS home.  Puppy attention spans are about 3-5 minutes so that’s all the time you work with them.  This is the time to make training fun with lots of little treats and praise.  Your training can be as simple as saying your puppy’s name and WATCH ME and having them look at you…eye contact results in happy praise and a treat.  Teaching them to look at you is BIG and will pay big dividends in the future.  But, make your training times short.

Yesterday Mark and I took Conrad to Aksarben Senior Living for a pet therapy visit.  We told them we were having puppies and I made a slide show of many of the pictures.  Residents, staff, and visitors all stopped to see pictures of YOUR puppies.  Lots of oohs and awes!!

For those of you wanting to know about supplies and such, I took a picture of all the puppy things stacked on Pippa and Emma’s kennels.  In case we have to take a puppy to the vet, we have our green tote available.  There is a scale for weighing.  Also an empty clothes basket to hold the puppies while I clean the whelping box and a fan to dry the floor of the whelping box.  There is a small box that has bottles just in case we need them.  It also contains a thermometer to take temperatures, a kit of scissors and things for birth, a baby bulb to suck fluid from their nose and mouth, and ribbons for identification.  On top of everything is a leash as the dogs don’t have collars on.

We are now watching Emma and have brought her to the house.  Emma is having 6 puppies and her due date is Sunday.  Katie is still in the mudroom but at the first sign of Emma being in labor, she and puppies will get moved to the nursery at the dog barn.  Emma will take over the whelping box and room after we disinfect everything.

Orange Male

Pink Female yawning

Puppy supplies


I’m back and hopefully with pictures.

Look at Green Male’s pigment on his pads coming.  The color variances are very prominent.  Orange Male is ready to stand on all fours.  They are all semi-walking around.

I will get more pictures taken.



A bit about the pictures I can’t seem to upload.  I have been taking pictures with my phone.  They evidently are too large to load into website so I’m cropping them.  Many will then upload – at least until yesterday.  I have the battery charging in the camera and will get some pictures taken and posted.

Yesterday I told you about Katie cleaning her puppies and her whelping pad.  The whelping box is spotless.  What I forgot to mention is that this behavior will last until I start feeding them puppy food.  At that point in time, Katie will be weaning the puppies and I am the official cleaner-uper.  Katie will probably start weaning her puppies when they get teeth.  At that same time, the puppies are big enough that they can drain her in just a couple of minutes.

The puppies are 1 week old today.  They have changed considerably.  They are all gaining weight.  They are all starting to stand on all four legs.  They are all scooting to mom, away from mom, etc.

Today they received new colored ribbons.  They grow so fast that we have to put bigger ribbons on them frequently.  They had their toe nails trimmed.  They all have been imprinted or desensitized.  I know I have relaxed them when they pee on my hand…8 out of 8 = 100%  This would be #2 in the care of the puppies.

Here is what to expect this week:

Week Two (Days 8-14)

  • Eyes should open around days 8-10
  • Ears should open around days 13-17
  • Temperatures should be around 97-99F
  • Keep whelping box around 80-83F
  • Begin holding puppies in different ways (applying light stress)
  • Trim nails weekly



The puppies continue to thrive.  The weights are going up 1 to 2 ounces daily.  They are looking like rolly-polly pups which we all love to cuddle.

For about the next 3 weeks, Katie stimulates the puppies to poo and pee and, not to gross you out, she eats it.  She also cleans up the carpet where the puppies have poo-ed or peed on their own.  We purchased whelping pads that are made for all the wear and tear of whelping.  We change them daily and machine wash and dry them to be used again.

In case you are wondering about the PVC pipe that is around the inside of the whelping box, that is called a pig rail.  The pig rail is a safety feature for the puppies.  If they are behind the momma when she lays down, they would be crushed.  The pig rail is set about 3″ above the floor and is just big enough for the puppies to avoid being crushed.

It is very important to keep the puppies warm.  They have no way to regulate their temperatures until about 3 weeks of age.  We also drape a cover over the whelping box to block the puppies from drafts when we open the door to let Katie in and out.  There also is an infrared heater that hangs over about 1/3 of the whelping box.  The puppies will gather under it when they are cold.  We have a panel that blocks the doorway from the kitchen to the mudroom.  We try to keep the temperature in the room about 75 degrees and the whelping box is about 78 degrees.

Enjoy the pictures…more tomorrow



I just noticed the black pigment is coming into the noses and paws of the puppies.  If you look close at the earlier pictures, there is no pigment.  Before they go home, their noses and paws will be jet black. They will probably have their ‘mascara’ on too.

All is well in the whelping box.  Katie is starting to lay on the outside of the whelping box with a constant eye on the puppies.  She is spending a bit more time outside for potty breaks too.  When I clean the whelping box, I put her in the kitchen with a gate between us.  She keeps an eagle eye on me and just what I’m doing with her puppies.

All eight of the puppies have been offered.  I’m very happy for those who are receiving puppies but very sad that there weren’t enough puppies to go around.  No matter how many litters of puppies we have, we sincerely regret not having enough puppies.

paw getting pigment

paw getting pigment

nose getting pigment



Today was an early day for all of us.  We were at the vet for our 9:00 visit at 8:40.  Gave me more time to chat and catchup.  We go to Animal Clinic Suburban in Omaha, NE.  Dr. Melody Kaliff is our primary care taker but we have seen Dr. Nelson when Dr. Kaliff is unavailable.  Their staff is excellent with our dogs and Mark and me.  There is never a stupid question  or an assumption that we should have known what we just asked.  I hope you in the Omaha metro will consider this office.  Our puppies are referred to as ‘the O’Connor puppies’ which is quite a compliment for us.

We had a wonderful visit!  Took our weight records with us and Dr. Kaliff thought the weight gains were good.  She looked for cleft palettes = none; umbilical hernias = none; and other things she would see that we might miss.  Plus she took off their dew claws.

She gave Katie an exam and found nothing to worry about.  I have been feeding Katie four times a day and she said I can feed her twice a day.

Enjoy the pictures of the puppies in a tote…

Checking on her babies

What beautiful puppies!


Today has been a sleepy day for Mark and me.  The weekend caught up for us humans.  As I watch Katie, she is energized cleaning puppies, running outside to potty, and relentlessly looking for a place to move her puppies outside.  She looks under the deck.  There is a little opening she is very interested in.  I keep telling her it’s not big enough and she shouldn’t even try.  We closed up a part of the yard that has lots of sand which I caught her digging in.  I don’t think she has thought out her plan.  There are 8 puppies in the house and I’d like to know how she plans to sneak them all out!!

The puppies and Katie are doing well.  The puppies are gaining, sleeping, and scooting around.  Sometimes they lay under the heater in the whelping box, other times by mom, and sometimes in a dog pile.

The puppies and Katie go to the vet tomorrow.  The puppies will have their first exam and dew claws removed.  Katie will get checked over also.

I’ve taken some new pictures…enjoy

Look close at how this puppy is nursing

Blue Female resting between mom’s front legs

Angle of pictures makes Brown Female look huge but she isn’t

Rest of the gang


Things are going very well with Katie and new puppies.  I must tell you I made a mistake in counting boys and girls.  In all the litters of puppies we’ve had, this has only happened once…now twice.  We have 5 girls and 3 boys.

All the puppies have been weighed and have a collar now.  The boys are GREEN, RED, and ORANGE.  The girls are Dk BLUE, LAVENDAR, PINK, BROWN, and Lt BLUE.  Their weights ranged from 12 ounces to 17 ounces.  They are all very well proportioned puppies so they weight difference isn’t very noticeable at a glance.  They ALL have huge heads.  Their colors range from very light to a medium/carmel color.

Today we will be cleaning the whelping box, put the whelping supplies away for Emma, put away the newly washed rags for Emma, and weigh the puppies twice today.  If we find any of the puppies are losing more than they should be, we have puppy milk ready.

I found this information as I was reading up on delivering puppies:

Week One (Days 1-7)

  • 90% of time spent sleeping
  • 10% eating
  • Susceptible to heat/cold
  • Instinctive reflexes: crawl, seek warmth, nurse
  • They can right themselves if placed upside down
  • Needs stimulation for urination/defecation
  • Rapid development of central nervous system
  • Need constant care from bitch
  • Rectal temperatures 94-97 degrees Farenheit
  • Pups may lose 10% of weight after birth, but should start gaining again
  • Weight should double by end of week

Pictures taken this morning…

4-23-2017  DUE DATE

Katie had her puppies late last night and into this morning.  We are saying she had the puppies on her due date since we have to chose one date.

Katie has 8 beautiful yellow puppies, 4 girls and 4 boys.  They are big puppies ranging from light yellow to medium yellow.  The first puppy was born at 9:35 pm last night and the last puppy was born this morning at 6:45 am.

I’ve had 2 hours of sleep and Mark has just laid down for a while.  It’s so nice outside he hates to miss the day.

All is well in the whelping box.  The puppies are sleeping under the overhead heater and Katie is laying close to them.

With this being Katie’s first litter, she was very anxious.  She didn’t want to stay in the whelping box.  I think she had a great place outside picked out for their birth!  We were on our knees outside the whelping box.  Before I knew what was happening, Katie came over and put her head on my shoulder and waited out a BIG contraction.

We will weigh and put ribbons on each puppy later today.  Right now our intent is to let Katie get to know her puppies.  The room has the shades drawn, the whelping box has a big blanket thrown over it to keep the puppy area extra warm because the puppies cannot regulate their temperature.

First two females

All eight puppies

Nursing with towel to keep them warm


I’m starting Katie’s blog to share with you what we are seeing as Katie gets closer to her due date of April 23.

We had an x-ray taken of Katie’s abdomen to determine if she was pregnant and to count puppies.

The reproductive anatomy of the dog is quite different than us humans.  They have a right horn and a left horn.  Visualize a turkey or chicken wishbone being held by the stem.  The stem is the birth canal and the two bones are the horns.  The photo shows the left horn and there are 5 puppies in it.  The right horn is partially covered by stool but there are 3 puppies that can be seen.

Dr. Kaliff explained the horns typically have the same number of puppies plus or minus one.  This means we are having 9-11 puppies.

I don’t know if the picture is clear enough to see the puppies but they are there!  Look close along her tummy for skulls and spines.

We are limiting Katie’s running and playing by having her ‘rest’ for a couple hours in the afternoon.  She gets an extra cup of puppy food and then she rests until supper.  Morning and evening meals have also been increased to meet the demands of growing puppies.

Katie has been switched from large breed adult dog food to large breed puppy food.  This switch gives Katie more nutrients to feed all the puppies before and after birth.

4-13-2017  10 days to puppies

Katie is getting bigger everyday!  Here are two pictures.  One was taken on April 3 and one is from yesterday.


4-16-2017  7 days to puppies

Katie continues to get larger.  Two weeks ago we saw a hint of Katie being pregnant.  Today Katie looks very pregnant.  She is playing less, laying down more, and wants in the building which is cool.  We have set up the ‘delivery suite’ in the mudroom.  The 4×4 whelping box was dusted off from a year ago and disinfected.  The whelping pads were washed and bagged after the last litter, soon to be used.  All the scissors and other utensils are clean but will be disinfected in a few days.  I have lots of rags ready.  We’ve decided to leave Pippa at the house but take Maggie up to the dog building.  Maggie can just about clear the gate between the mudroom and the kitchen.  Don’t think Katie will want to share her puppies at least until they get teeth!

4-19-2017  4 days to puppies

Katie’s body is preparing for the delivery of her babies.  I’m seeing a difference in how low her belly is.  The puppies are getting into position creating a more ‘trim middle’.

Yesterday Katie was quiet and rested most of the day.  She is still eating and her temp has not dropped.

She is wanting to go outside to poop and pee but mostly pee.  The bladder is getting squeezed by the puppies.  While she is outside, she is checking out every piece of the yard as a possible location ‘to have her puppies’.  We have had dogs have puppies outside on potty breaks so one has to be very careful after dark.

April 20, 2017  3 days to puppies (or less)

For the past few days I have thought ‘this is it’ or ‘I think that was a contraction’ only to find Katie still with puppies on this morning.  Last night I was up every couple of hours checking on Katie but I think she thinks I’m her official door opener.  Every time I get up, I let her outside.  I have to tell those of you who sleeping last night, that it was a beautiful, crisp spring night.

And I keep taking her temperature like I don’t have eyes to see how pregnant she is and she will deliver her puppies when she is darn ready to.  She hasn’t missed a meal either.  She is eating a bit slower but pregnancy and absolutely no room left in her abdomen isn’t stopping her from eating!

This morning I’ve let Katie out 5 times to potty and it is only 11:00 am.  The temp is going down and she is resting or rather sleeping as I’m hearing deep snoring from the delivery suite.

This is an odd picture of Katie but it shows her getting the puppies in place for birth.  She is pushing her rear up against one wall and her back on the other.  Some times she sits on her tummy and some times she lays on one side and then the other.  Then she will stand up and stretch.  Again, all of this is getting the puppies in position.

I think this is it and I’m sure I saw a contraction!!!!


Posted in: EMMA'S BLOG
January 6, 2017


Before you browse our website, please take a minute to read the “Puppy Commandments” below. Not often does something so true and meaningful find it’s way from ones thoughts to words on paper. Mr. Stan Rawlinson wrote this and gave permission to Dusty Road Labradors to put this on our website for others to enjoy.


  • My life is likely to last 10-15 years; any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you buy me.
  • Give me time to understand what you want from me; don’t be impatient, short-tempered, or irritable.
  • Place your trust in me, and I will always trust you back. Respect is earned not given as an inalienable right.
  • Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment, I am not capable of understanding why? I only know I have been rejected. You have your work, entertainment, and friends. I only have you.
  • Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice and your tone, “you only have to look at my tail”.
  • Be aware that however you treat me I’ll never forget it, and if it’s cruel it may affect me forever.
  • Please don’t hit me. I can’t hit back, but I can bite and scratch and I really don’t ever want to do that.
  • Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right foods or I’ve been out in the sun too long or my heart is getting old and weak. I may be just dog tired.
  • Take care of me when I get old. You too will grow old and may also need love, care, comfort, and attention.
  • Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, irrespective of what you do, I will always love you.
Posted in: Commandments