Labrador Delights Family As She Gives Birth To A Whopping 13 Puppies
A Labrador has given birth to a huge litter of 13 puppies, giving her family quite a shock.
Beau, a Crufts champion descendant, had an ultrasound five weeks into her pregnancy and it looked as if she was just going to have a litter of five or six puppies.
However, her family were taken aback as she ended up having over a dozen instead.
The record for the most puppies born in one black Labrador breed is 15, making Beau just shy of the top spot.
The pooch's owners weren't expecting her to give birth to quite so many puppies.
Dog breeder Leah Barrett delivered the litter with her sister Alice and dad Nick.
The 32-year-old, of Allhallows, Kent, said: "The vet told us it would take about an hour for each puppy to be born. We thought there could be up to eight, so roughly calculated an eight hour labour.
"But after seven were born in just forty minutes, we were all absolutely gobsmacked. They were just flying out."
Leah, who's agoraphobia keeps her stuck at home, added: "My dad was so shocked he called his friends.
"He told them, 'oh my god, there's nine, now there's ten,' and so on until the 13th arrived. He was the one supposed to be helping me, but he was just too excited."
The birth didn't go without a hiccup, as one of the puppies became trapped in the birth canal of Beau's placenta, too.
When they eventually recused the newborn dog, it wasn't breathing at first but luckily they managed to get the fluid out of its lungs with suction equipment and save her life - sweetly naming her 'Hope' as a result.
Now, seven weeks on from the birth, the puppies are all growing lively and chubby.
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The Barrett family has given each pup a name to match their distinct personalities.
The boys are called Stormy, Ziggy, Ninja, Danny Dyer, Neon, Stevie and Bear, and the girls - Hope, Violet, Penelope, Paloma Faith, Penelope and Baby Pink.
Leah said: "Stormy was the runt of the litter so we gave him a strong name to give him a boost.
"Penelope used to snort a lot so we named her after the film character. Another pup used to howl like she was trying to sing, so we called her Paloma Faith."
Reflecting on the experience, Leah said it was one of the "hardest" of her life.
The dog owner barely slept for weeks because she would wake up in the middle of the night to feed the the litter.
Leah said: "Beau only has 10 teats for 13 puppies which left three who were just too weak to force their way on. That meant I'd get up in the middle of the night to hand feed them.
"They'd probably have died otherwise. My mum has been sleeping in the living room for nearly two months now. She's still worried about them."
Despite the difficulties, Leah said delivering the pups was the "most beautiful" thing she had ever done.
The Barretts are now selling all but two the Kennel Club registered pups at £950 each, meaning the family will pocket than £10,000 for their efforts.
They have decided to keep "mummy's boy" Bear and Hope, who has become one of the chubbiest pups after being revived at birth.
Leah plans to train "beautiful" Hope into a show dog and hopes it will help her overcome her anxiety which has kept her house-bound for months.
She said: "At the moment I only leave home for hospital appointments. By taking Hope to competitions it will give me a reason to get out of the house more. It would improve my quality of life massively."
What a little blessing she's been to the family.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS