Sadie’s babies arrived in the wee hours of Sunday 9th November. She’s had me on full alert from the middle of the week as I never believed from the size of her that she’d carry her large litter to term. Reminiscent of own mother’s whelp, we had another midnight dash to the vets on account of the first puppy being stuck! But after his ignominious arrival we returned home and over the course of the night she gave us eight bonny babes, two girls and six boys! By nine in the morning she had to all intents and purposes finished…….she was attending to her pups fastidiously and they were all nursing contentedly, but I had a feeling she would surprise us with another one or two and true enough after a “whelping pause” of three or so hours, she delivered two more delicious little girl pups.

The above pictures were taken during their first week, when the pups are blind, deaf and defenseless, relying totally on their mother for warmth and nurture. You can see the pigment (black colour of their noses) beginning to darken on their pads and paws also.

By day 11 and 12 the pups have opened their eyes although their actual vision is still very limited. Their ear canals are also beginning to open and they are suddenly aware of sounds. We had a surreal episode during the night when ten pups became aware of their voices and tiny mini howls broke the darkness. I sleep with the pups for the first few weeks and this litter were more vocal than previous pups, and with hindsight I now think this was the first indication that Sadie’s milk was not as fulsome as it should have been, despite enjoying a menu fit for kings and queens! At this time these little fat squeaky butterballs look nothing more than golden moles. Tragically we lost one beautiful boy to a freak accident which shocked us all to the core in it’s futility and suddenness, but for the twelve short days he shared with us he was cherished and loved beyond compare and had enjoyed both human and his mother’s attention for every minute of those days and nights.

Calacarey Alfie Moon – affectionately known as “Alfie” aka Pink Boy and Splodge! These series of stunning head shots were taken at four weeks of age. By now their little personalities and characteristics are beginning to develop which helps me enormously when trying to make the best match between puppy and new owner. This sweet little blonde boy was positively a “gentle man” exhibiting all those special character traits that define this breed as the perfect family dog………loving, intelligent, biddable and willing to please with just a little sassy inquisitiveness and comic moves guaranteed to raise a smile – his little tail was always on the move and he loved nothing more than being cuddled and fussed over.

Calacarey Daisy Maize – affectionately known as Maisy – aka Little Miss Orange. What a little peach this darling pup was and what a little fighter……..always the smallest and always trying to play catch up! She fought hard for her position at the milk bar, often pushed away by larger siblings but always game and feisty and determined never to give up. Initially I would haul off a bigger pup to let her have a suckle but very soon learnt that this little dynamo could muscle her way into the tiniest crevasses and battle with the big boys. She took to her first “proper” meal of finely minced raw meat like a little wolverine – her body shook with excitement and delight at the taste and again she was another pup whose gorgeous golden tail never stopped wagging. Such a sweetheart and so pretty and petite and winsome with an enormous personality. As she is staying in Cornwall I am looking forward to watching her blossom and grow.

Calacarey Celtic Keepsake – affectionately known as “Purdie” aka Miss Purple, Doris, Boadicea, La Chunk and Tankette! This not so little puppy had her paws very firmly tucked under our table almost before she drew her first breath! There was something enchanting about this burnished gold pup that constantly drew my eye…….her bold, adventurous nature, she was playful, mischievous, challenging and I guess trouble with a capital “T” She had an assured arrogance, an aloofness a sassy devil may care attitude which you couldn’t resist smiling at even in the throws of some misdemeanor and mishap. She wasn’t pretty in the conventional “chocolate box” sense but we fell in love with her the instant she was born – and so she stayed to wreak havoc and mayhem……… this space as she blossoms and grows!

Calacarey Celtic Cream – affectionately known as “Bailey” – aka Mr. Purple. This gorgeous puppy had the sweetest temperament, he was gentle and loving, soft and willing and displayed every admirable trait that this lovely breed is known for. He was never found in the middle of a scrum or affray, preferring to sit on the sidelines watching with a bemused look on his beautiful face, wondering what all the fuss was about. He was going to a family who had not had a puppy before so it was important that I matched a quiet, sound, laid back, well mannered young chap into their hearts and home. Again he is staying in Cornwall, just down the road, so we will enjoy watching his progress and sharing walks and the odd adventure.

Calacarey Calico Jack – affectionately known as “Seve” aka Little Red Boy. What a veritable poppet this lad was and an absolute joy in every respect. He was the littlest male pup and in the first few weeks on occasions I’d whisk mum out of the whelping box and let him enjoy some one on one, hassle free indulgence at the milk bar. By the time we were weaning them, he’d caught up and the litter overall were very well balanced in the weight department. Once again this pup was going to a family with no prior knowledge of a golden pup, so it was imperative I matched a calm, loving, intelligent individual to meet their needs……..such an easy nature and loving bundle of golden gorgeousness!

Calacarey Tennessee Rose – affectionately known as “Sky” aka Miss Yellow. What a gorgeous golden bundle of loveliness! This puppy was soft and gentle, beautiful in looks and very “girlie”. She has been a veritable poppet – intelligent, responsive, quick to learn and displaying plenty of the sassy, bold inquisitiveness of her sister albeit with more sophistication! If I was to make a comparison it would be “Roedean versus St. Trinians!” Almost as if she knew her stay with us was temporary, she made a huge fuss of her new mum, allowing herself to be hugged, cuddled and cried over while showering her with little frantic “kisses” and the waggiest of waggy tails. I have no doubt she is going to be cherished wildly, spoilt rotten, and loved to the moon and back.

Calacarey Paddington Bear – affectionately known as “Teddy” aka Mr. Yellow was the blonde bomb shell of the litter and although this picture doesn’t show his true colour, a lot of visitors fell in love with his happy go lucky nature and Hollywood coat. He was the most content and easily pleased young pup being laid back to the point of being horizontal! Nothing phased him – he was utterly bomb proof and when he was first viewed at 10 days old, his new owner never waivered in her affections. Another gorgeous lad who is staying in the county, ensuring walks and wanders and the opportunity to watch him blossom and grow.

Calacarey Carousel Dancer – affectionately known as Darcey – aka Little Miss Pink or Rose was almost Purdie’s twin. Absolute peas in the pod other than very, very slightly lighter, but same huge personality and huge fluffy coat. Darcey’s owners had waited a very long time for a Calacarey Puppy – yes they’d had two other goldens before we were in a position to fullfill a six year wish and I am tickled pink that they thought so highly of my girls to have followed their dream. In all honesty they had fallen totally in love with Great Grandma Reilly all those years ago and wanted a golden carat or two from the genes of this lovely girl.

Calacarey Solomon’s Song – affectionately known as Solly or Solomon aka Mr. Blank and latterly Tank! What an adorable handful of happy, robust, humorous chunky monkey hunk! Solly was by far the biggest of the boys; he and Purdie in the early days vied with each other in terms of weight, then fluffy coat, then naughtiness, then outright me, me, me for attention! But for all his showy exuberance, I knew there was an underlying strength and stability in that he would excel in all character traits that we love and admire in goldens and that his sunny personality and overall disposition would generate a raft of affection from his new family of surfer dudes and dudettes! So Family Kness – I salute you! and can’t wait for our first catch up!