It isn’t a record but when Marie Beer’s chocolate Labrador Willow gave birth to 14 puppies last month, it was sure a surprise.
“We were thinking the usual, seven to eight,” Beer said. “Come seven, she kind of took a break and we were like, seven is good but they just kept coming out.”
Willow gave birth to the healthy puppies Feb. 13. A mix of chocolate, black and yellow, they are evenly split between male and female. The smallest weighed in at 412 grams, the largest at 539 grams.
This is Willow’s second litter but her first with Beer’s black Lab Waylon. The huge litter means they have had to bottlefeed a few of the pups. Willow has been producing milk but needs a break at times, Beer said.
In the beginning, it was round-the-clock feeding as the puppies nursed every two hours. Seven pups fed for half an hour before being switched over to the other seven.
“You’d get a 45-minute break, so we’d get a half hours sleep in there and it was 24/7.”
They are now on four-hour breaks but Beer said they haven’t had a full night’s sleep since they were born.
“It’s like having seven newborns,” she laughed.
All the pups’ eyes are now open and they are walking. Beer said they are very inquisitive, watching what Willow does.
“They’re so cute – and the puppy breath. If they could bottle that stuff it would be amazing.”
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