Monday, December 03, 2007

New Pups! Theme: Pacific Northwest

We welcomed six black and yellow puppies from our black lab, Mingus, early on November 29th. Labor began around midnight and by 8 AM she was done (or so we thought). About six hours later she birthed a stillborn pup, which caught us all by surprise. Nonetheless, the six we have are healthy and growing fast!

As is our custom, we've named this litter after a recent vacation destination. Last summer we traveled to northern California to visit San Francisco, Yosemite, and the Redwoods, and then continued up the coast of Oregon and Washington. Thus, our three male and three femaile puppies have the temporary names of: Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea, El Capitan (F), Yosemite (F), and Wizard (M) (after the island in Crater Lake).

Our smallest puppy, Sacagawea, was born with some intriguing markings reminiscent of the first labrador retrievers that arrived in England in the 1840s from Newfoundland. Known as "St. John's" labs, these early emissaries had white paws, a white chin, and white chests to contrast with their black hair. It is not uncommon for black labs to be born with some white markings but they often diminish or completely disappear. We're not sure what will happen with Sacagawea but it seems clear that her heritage extends back to the St. John's labs.