When Mary Killing was told that the appointment she had booked to have both of her dogs neutered had to be cancelled, she did everything she could to keep the dogs apart.
Mary put Vick’s VapoRub on the dogs to remove their scent and even tried putting nappies on them.
But despite Mary’s best efforts, Bella, a Labrador - Collie Cross and Archie, an Irish Setter and English Springer Spaniel mix, still managed to rendezvous and their illicit liaison resulted in 15-month old Bella falling pregnant.
Once Mary had got over the surprise of Bella’s pregnancy, more shocks were in store for the family from Ireland. The vet had told Mary that they expected Bella would give birth to around eight to ten puppies. But that estimate fell a little short.
Mary was watching Game of Thrones when Bella started panting heavily before delivering the first of her litter on Mary’s lap. Mary moved Bella to a more comfortable spot on a duvet and as more and more puppies were born, Mary couldn’t believe it. Brave Bella delivered an incredible 16 puppies in total, a record for Ireland – although one pup sadly died.
Mary has been helping Bella take care of her new brood, which she admits has been hard work. The family have decided to keep the first-born pup who they’ve called Walter. The rest of the pups will find loving homes with friends and family.