We’ve been living for dog stories in lockdown, from the adorable canine who has his tongue permanently stuck out to the Shepherd cross who fostered some kittens.
But it seems there’s another four-legged hero, who goes by the name of Nellie. The three-year-old Dalmatian gave birth to an enormous litter of 18 puppies, after grueling 14-hour labor.
The gigantic brood is made up of 10 boys and eight girls, which is double the size of an average litter – but not quite the number of the classic Disney tale.
Cecilia knows just about everything there is to know about Dalmatians. So when she decided to breed a litter, she chose her titled show dog, Miley, to be a first-time mom. After careful consideration, she chose Astro Wonder Boy to be the stud.
The breeding took and like all responsible breeders, Cecilia provided Miley with veterinary care throughout her gestation period. With the help of x-rays and ultrasounds, her vet speculated that Miley would have 3 pups. As time passed Cecilia sensed that the count was off. However, Miley continued to be healthy and happy and that was the most important thing.
After her gestation passed, Miley began her labor and Cecilia called on the team of veterinary nurses that she had on standby to help ensure a safe delivery. After the 3 predicted pups were born with no sign of stopping, Miley’s delivery team was shocked to deliver pup after pup. For Astro’s part, he must have been a true Wonder Boy because Miley gave birth to 18 healthy puppies to the surprise of everyone.
She said: ‘I thought she’d stopped after number 15 because it looked like she had laid down to go to sleep. But then along came another one, and two more after that.
The humongous litter landed Miley in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest litter ever birthed. Normal Dalmatian litters consist of 8 – 10 pups and first-time litters are usually smaller so this was a huge feat.
‘Nellie is making a really lovely mum. I’m immensely proud of her, she’s been amazing.’
Louise has been breeding Dalmatians for 30 years and currently has 27 dogs leaving paw-prints around the place.
She added: ‘Fortunately, we have a lot of outside space and the dogs have lots of things to play with.
‘They’ve got their own Wendy House, and swings and slides that they love to play on. Some sleep in the kitchen, some sleep in the utility room, and some sleep in the living room. A couple occasionally joins me in bed.’