By Tom Midlane @GoldenLatrine
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Videographer / Director: Adam Gray
Senior producer: Tom Midlane
Edit producer: Jack Walton
Editor: James Thorne, Ian Phillips
Breeder, Dark Dynasty K9s’ (DDK9s) huge 140lb female pitbull Stella was carrying canine colossus Hulk’s latest litter, with everything going to plan in the pregnancy.
But with her due date rapidly approaching, a major storm hit the northeastern USA, with 70mph-plus winds felling trees and leaving 1.3 million people in the region without power.
DDK9's co-owner Lisa Grennan, 28, said: “While we were waiting for the puppies to be born there was a horrible storm, I was told it was the worst that we had in at least 14 years.
"I had seen something earlier that there’s going to be some wind but I never knew that it was gong to get as bad as it was.
"We lost power for two days. We were running around trying to find a generator, but they were all sold out and Stella was due with Hulk’s puppies any day."
The New Hampshire-based DDK9's team were working on the construction of a special birthing room for Hulk’s pups, complete with underfloor heating, after losing all 14 puppies from Stella and Hulk’s last litter.
Since puppies are unable to regulate their own body temperature after birth they are dependent on external warmth to survive.
Lisa added: "We had no power. We had no electricity. We had no heat. There was nothing, so if she had her puppies in middle of that it would have been devastating."
DDK9s founder Marlon Grennan, 31, said: “Breeding dogs is a crucial part of our business, so it’s very important that we have successful litters.
“These dogs can be worth anywhere from around $3,500 to $20,000, but I have sold older dogs for $150,000 plus.
“When you’re breeding pedigree dogs, there is a lot riding on it and a lot of things that can go wrong - and when things go wrong, we can lose out on thousands of dollars. So everything needs to be perfect.
“But I absolutely love Hulk and Stella as a couple, Stella is one of the cutest dogs around.
"She just smiles at you and Hulk’s personality is one in a million, so they make the perfect pair.
"Hulk and Stella have known each other about all Stella’s life, they have been romancing for quite a long time so it was definitely on the cards for them to have some puppies.
“The pedigree of the dogs is really going to match up well. I expect this to be the biggest dogs that we have produced here at DDK."
Unfortunately two of the puppies were stillborn, while two others passed away in the days after the birth.
Lisa said: “ At the very end Stella had seven puppies. Unfortunately we were left with three. But we have one male and two females that are absolutely gorgeous."
And the sole surviving male pup, King Kong, is being tipped to outgrow his famous doggy dad by owner Marlon.
Marlon said: “He won’t leave my clutches for any amount of money, I expect we’ve got a 200lb-er on our hands here, you’ll hear his name around - King Kong.”
Lisa added: “Breedings with Hulk are a key point in our business. It can be really stressful and unfortunately you have some tragedies.
"It’s full of a lot of heartbreak but it’s also full of a lot of excitement and happiness to see where these puppies go within our business and to their new families. Seeing the smile on their new owners’ faces and their kids’ faces, it makes it all worth it.”
Episode 2 of Dog Dynasty season 2 launches Friday June 29 on Barcroft TV’s YouTube and Facebook Watch, with a new episode released every Friday.