Once upon a time...there was a mighty chocolate Lab named Rayne.
We knew from the time we traveled home with this girl she would be a strong Lab. This beautiful female has brought puppies in to CaveInn that are today great service Labs, hunting Labs, and family pets. Her drive has always been a force in our kennel. Although not the largest female in the crew, she has always maintained royal status and remains the alpha bitch.
Planning for Rayne's retirement did not go as we would have liked. Her final litter (so we planned) did not result in puppies. This Fall was her last time breeding with our Robin. After 25 days we had a relaxin test (pregnancy test for canine) done and it was negative. We felt for Rayne as her body was certainly telling her to prepare for puppies in October.
Did I say that Rayne wears her alpha female crown quite proudly?
During the last month we did not see any reason to consider Rayne was expecting. She seemed to be coaching Moon as she neared her delivery time and was a great role model. We were thrilled that Moon's delivery was smooth and she welcomed 10 beautiful puppies on Thursday night, October 23.
As always during the first days after puppies are born, we had very little sleep and tended to Moon and her well being. By Saturday Rayne had begun to look as though her mammory glands were developing milk. Again, we assumed that she was simply reacting to the recent delivery.
Sunday was quite a different story. I was in my office viewing photos of puppies and on a whim thought I'd see (for kicks and giggles) if any milk could be expressed from Rayne. Indeed there was milk! I have heard this can happen in phantom pregnancy and still thought this had to be the case.
About the time 60 minutes began, Rayne began labor. Her labor was relatively short and about 7:50 PM she delivered the very last puppy she will ever have. Welcome...Teddy!
This has been an emotional time for Rayne, but each day that passes we see more of her usual self again. Moon hasn't missed a beat and took to Teddy like he was one of her own. He is now gaining good weight and is warm and loved. Teddy is 5 days old today and catching up in weight to his litter mates. The end of a legacy at CaveInn for sure. When Rayne recovers she will be spayed and officially retire to reign over the couch!
As for Teddy, his future is bound to be bright. He will undoubtedly inherit his Momma Rayne's beautiful coat and his Dad Robin's square nose and grand posture.
The family he chooses to spend his life with will be blessed with a very special puppy.