INSTEAD of waking up to a delivery of presents, staff at the Guide Dogs National Centre, just outside Leamington, spent Christmas Day morning delivering a litter of seven guide dog puppies.
Pebbles, a four-year-old Golden Retriever guide dog mum, gave birth to four girls and three boys at the charity’s breeding centre, in the early hours of Christmas Day morning, with the last pup arriving by 8.20am.
She was due to give birth on Boxing Day but when she started to show signs that she may go into labour early, staff at the centre, which is manned 24-hours a day, were able to step in and support her.
These seven pups will stay with Pebbles until they are around eight weeks’ old, after which they will move to live with volunteer puppy raisers across the country.
Guide Dogs spokesperson Janine Dixon said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to the staff members who supported Pebbles with the birth of her litter on Christmas Day morning, as well as our staff who worked over Christmas at the National Centre and providing support to our guide dog mums and dads in volunteers’ homes.
“Usually, our guide dog mums would give birth at home, with support from their breeding dog volunteers, who they live with permanently.
“Occasionally, our mums need to give birth at our centre instead, and when this is the case, we have a team of dedicated and knowledgeable staff available to ensure mums and pups receive the best care.
“Pebbles is a great mum and we wish her pups the best of luck as they start on their journey to becoming life-changing guides for people living with sight loss.”
To find out more about becoming a breeding dog volunteer contact volunteering coordinator Verity O’Donnell via [email protected] or call 0800 781 1444.