If you like nature, hunting dogs, and puppies then you are going to love this.
Our labrador retriever Murray just turned three years old in December. She was a gift to our family when I finished grad school in Texas and moved back home to Georgia. We brought her home just a few weeks before my wife gave birth to our first child. Needless to say, she is very much part of the family.
My family loves our dog. She is definitely 100 percent lab, meaning she can get into all sorts of mischief. But she is also very gentle with our kids, is a great guard dog, and a good worker in the field.
She’s retrieved dove and duck for me like a champ. She is registered as a “red lab” due to her rather unique coloring. Our family thinks she is one beautiful gal. So when the time came for me to consider passing on her lineage, it was really a no-brainer for me.
We were able to notice fairly soon after the breeding process that she was pregnant. Still, we had no idea how many puppies she had growing inside.
This being her first litter, it was a bit of a guessing game. To our delight she delivered 10 puppies! Being in labor for over 14 hours (from before 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m.) she never missed a beat. Even just two days before going into labor, she insisted on “helping” me clean the ducks I’d shot earlier that morning (don’t worry, I did not let her retrieve this day) and I snagged a full-on prego pic of her. She was huge!
One of the most fascinating aspects of the entire ordeal was watching her motherly instincts kick in automatically. My wife and I did lots of research, asked our friends, and talked through our game plan to ensure we could be there to help if Murray needed it. We made her “whelping box” out of a kiddie pool, borrowed a small space heater, and just let her do the rest.
Let me tell you, she certainly didn’t need us for anything, because she took complete control. By the time she was done cleaning off the puppies, each one was spotless. She took care of their birthing sacks, the umbilical cords, and coaxed them to nurse almost immediately. She even nursed a few while giving birth to another – mind blown.
It is truly remarkable to see how awesome it is for an animal’s instincts to take over.
The following video is a little messy, such is the nature of giving birth. It shows one of the yellow lab puppies being born. If you’re an animal lover, particularly one who appreciates hunting dogs, then this home video will stir your emotions and your appreciation for hunting dogs will grow even more.
Stay tuned for more puppy updates and to track how #MamaMurray does raising the little ones!