Lorra lorra labs! Labrador has a passel o’ pups

by Mark James on August 5, 2010

A family from Westtown, New York, is celebrating after their pet Labrador Scarlett gave birth to 18 pups.

In an exclusive Dream Dogs interview, Jamie Chichester told how she and her daughter Jade couldn’t believe their eyes when four-year-old Scarlett gave birth to the huge litter over 21st – 22nd June earlier this year.

Jamie, who owns a local beauty salon, had only recently decided to breed Scarlett, and only had one stud in mind – Tank, who is a family dog owned by one of Jamie’s long-time clients and lives in Goshen, NY. According to her, he’s a handsome dog with a sweet nature. This is the first time that she has bred Scarlett, but she has no plans to breed her again in the future. She said:

“Scarlett is so lovely, I wanted to share her with friends, but I could never have imagined the emotion involved and the amount of work! I would never breed Scarlett again – I felt guilty for weeks afterwards!”

Of the 18 pups, six were unfortunately stillborn, but the rest of the litter are thriving. Jamie and her daughter had a lot of fun naming them.

She said: “Valley Girl whined a lot to start, but she’s a real love now. We also have Kissy Girl, Bella, Emmitt, Alice, Jane, Rosalie, Francesca, Jack and Colby.”

There’s also Mac, named for two of Jamie’s previous Labradors Mickey and Jack, and Mulch, who was named so as his new owners are close friends of Jamie’s who own a garden centre. He’s destined to be their new mascot and as catchy as his name is, they’re holding a competition on Facebook to rename him.

Jamie borrowed a whelping box from friends and did some research on the Internet prior to the birth of the pups, but nothing could prepare her for what came next:

“We were very worried for Scarlett when the pups just kept on coming. We were very sad when some pups were stillborn; this was a 36 hour ordeal with very little sleep for us, so emotions were running high, but we were amazed and overcome at seeing nature at its best.”

Of the dozen surviving pups, seven have new owners, with one having a special significance as she was the person that Jamie got Scarlett from. She said:

“She has Scarlett’s mother, grandmother and brother – she’ll now have her daughter, and so she will have four generations in her home, which is pretty cool.”

Jamie, who shares her home with her parents, two cats and two African dwarf frogs as well as the new additions, offered the following advice to those looking to breed their dog:

“Take six weeks off work, be prepared for no sleep and buy stock in paper towels, newspaper and floor cleaner!”

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