By Mike Jones
It’s not quite 101 dalmatians – but it probably feels like it to Louise Clement, whose dalmatian Nellie has given birth to a bumper litter of 18 puppies.
The first-time mum’s pups join worn-out owner Louise’s NINE other dalmatians – meaning she now has 27 of the beautiful dotty dogs at her home near Preston, Lancs.
Despite Dalmatian dogs only usually giving birth to litters of around eight puppies, Nellie gave birth to double the average sized litter, leaving former nurse Louise, 46, flabbergasted.
The pawsome first-time mum and her 10 boys and eight girls are doing well after they were born on April 14 – after a labour lasting 14 hours.
Louise said: “We knew that Nellie was quite big so we were expecting a large litter, but we had no idea she would have this many.
“She had a great natural labour, but they just kept on coming.
“I thought she’d stopped after number 15, because it looked like she had lay down to go to sleep.
“But then along came another one, and two more after that.
“We are just absolutely in love with the puppies.
“Nellie is an amazing mum, she’s got great sentiment and is a complete clown, she makes us laugh every day.”
Louise, a registered Kennel Club breeder, has kept dalmatians for 30 years – and still owns Nellie’s mum, Penny, and her grandmother, Pebbles, nine.
She also plans to keep one the puppies from Nellie’s litter.
The large family – who are nearly all related, include Nellie’s mother and grandfather – and the generations of hounds all live in happy harmony.
Their sheer numbers mean she has dogs sleeping all over the house – from the kitchen utility room – and she often even has some sleep in her bed.
Louise 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, and some sleep in the living room, a couple occasionally join me in bed.”
“Nellie is making a really lovely mum.
“I slept on the sofa with her for the last two weeks of the pregnancy, just to keep an eye on her.
“I was there for each one when they were born, and helped her with each of them. We weight them and put a coloured collar on them to tell them apart.”
“Firstly I was worried, but then I was glad all 18 were alive, tho I was quite concerned as the first few days of their life can be critical. Once it had all sunk in, it was a case of shocked, shed managed to do all that herself. I’m immensely proud proud of her, she’s been amazing.”