Our Chocolate Labrador Blossom had a litter of puppies five weeks ago. I had ultrasound scanned her during her pregnncy and reckoned on nine pups which is a huge number of puppies for a first litter. The first four puppies were born naturally but, with a still huge abdomen, her progress stalled and at 2 am I had to rush her down to the surgery at Maple Street for a Caesarian Section operation.

When I last wrote, the nine puppies were only 2 days old. With 3 bitches and 6 dogs to look after, Blossom had her hands full but was taking to motherhood really well.

5 weeks on and all nine puppies are making fantastic progress. When they were first born, they weighed around 500 grams each and now they weigh around 3 kg. A 600% weight gain in 5 weeks means that Blossom has been working very hard. Blossom, like many Labradors is very fond of her food. She has been putting so much energy into producing milk for the puppies that we have been feeding her about four times her usual quantity and yet she has still been losing weight.

In the last week, we have started to introduce the puppies to some solid food and they have taken to it really well. They have been in the kitchen for the last 3 weeks and had their very first venture outdoors on an enclosed patio today.

Within the last 2 weeks, the puppies have started to develop personalities. While they are all similar in size we can now tell which puppies are most confident and outgoing and which are the more quiet and contemplative. They play and interact with each other now and have a couple of toys that they love to carry around. Unfortunately, none of their toys are currently quite as much fun as the cupboard handles in the kitchen which seem to hold a fascination.