Which means that we should introduce Larkin, Begbie and Cava's single puppy, born on September 11th, 2013.
Raising a single puppy was a hair raising and stressful experience but we all made it through. Dogs really aren't designed to have just one puppy so it presented many challenges such as a c-section, mastitis, over-mothering and over-feeding. We were fortunate to have the older litter (Kona's puppies), which meant that we had some good socialization opportunities for Larkin as she grew up. But a 2.5 week age gap is a chasm in developmental terms, so even that was not straightforward and had to be closely supervised. When she was 8 - 10 weeks old, we still had Lync here from the older litter and the two of them became great pals and playmates. Between Lync, Cava and our other adult dogs, Larkin was able to learn the appropriate social skills.
We did everything we could think of to make sure that Larkin didn't grow up to be too "odd" as a result of the lack of litter mates and for the most part she seems to be a fairly normal puppy. She was never fond of being picked up or held, but we have made huge steps there. As a young puppy she did not show a lot of potential to be a show dog for various reasons, but as she grows, she is looking more promising. We do wonder if the lack of constant physical contact with litter mates affects early development. The good news is that at 4.5 months old, she looks and acts like a normal flat-coat puppy. She was a very feisty and independent puppy and appears be continuing that way as she grows up.
|Larkin and Cava|
|Larkin at about 6 weeks old|
|Larkin and Lync and a stick|
|3.5 months old and before her first haircut!|