“AND they call it puppy love.”
Well, the old Paul Anka tune has certainly struck a chord with the Killing family from Crecora in County Limerick.
After Archie, an Irish-setter/English-springer spaniel and Bella, a Labrador/border collie recently had a brood of 15 adorable balls of fluff, they have been left doting over the new arrivals.
Puppy love indeed!
Sadly, one of the young dogs died, but the County Limerick litter still equals the second largest number of puppies in a single delivery – and is believed to be the largest in Ireland.
Bella, aged 15 months, gave birth to the puppies at the family home in Crecora.
“A neutering appointment was cancelled during lockdown as it was not considered urgent,” mum-of-five Mary Killing explained.
After that, nature took its course, and the new arrivals were born on Saturday July 25 with 10 puppies making their grand entrance before midnight, and a further six following the next morning. There were eight girls and eight boys in total.
“I was in absolute shock. The vet had told us she was going to have eight to 10 puppies. So having 15 was quite phenomenal. It’s a record I think,” Mary added.
The Crecora woman, who works in the University of Limerick, was relaxing at home when the first of the extraordinary litter came.
“It was a shock to the system. We were in awe. They are all different colours.”
The Killing family has now decided to keep one of the litter, first-born Walter – named by 11-year-old Isaac after Where’s Wally, because he liked to hide.
The rest of the litter are going to family and friends, including one to Mary’s eldest son Josh (24), who lives with his partner Maria Healy in Limerick City.
“I thought at one stage, I’d have 17 leads as I love them all,” she concluded.