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A dog has given birth to one of the largest ever litters after she welcomed 16 pups into the world.
Lab/Collie cross Bella and Irish setter/English spaniel Archie were both set to be neutered, but because of Covid-19 those plans were scuppered.
But despite the best efforts of their owner Mary Killing, the two shacked up, and before anyone could say 'snip', Bella was pregnant.
And on 25 July, Mary watched on in utter disbelief as her 15-month-old pooch gave birth to 16 pups. Sadly, however, one of the litter tragically died.
Mary, who's from Crecora in Limerick, said: "The neutering appointment was cancelled during lockdown as it was not considered urgent.
"We tried keeping Bella and Archie apart, we tried nappies, Vick's VapoRub and we separated them for a couple of days. It wasn't to be though."
The litter began arriving at the Killing family home late on July 25, and with eight boys and eight girls it is understood to be one of the largest ever to be delivered in Ireland.
Mary, 51, said: "I was in absolute shock. The vet had told us she was going to have eight to ten puppies.
"So having 15 was quite phenomenal. It's a record I think."
Mary said she was watching an episode of Game of Thrones when she noticed Bella, who was sat on her lap, started to breathe heavily.
After giving birth to one on her lap, Bella was then moved onto some bedding where she gave birth to the rest of the litter.
Looking back at that moment, Mary said: "We had to get a suitcase the following morning to put them into to count them as they were wriggling all over the place.
"It was just phenomenal. We were in awe."
Mary has been able to care for the pups, as she has been working in her role with the University of Limerick from home.
She added: "It's been tough, it's been hard work."
The Killing family now plan on keeping the first-born Walter - named by 11-year-old Isaac after 'Where's Wally', because he kept hiding - with the rest being given to family and friends.
Mary says she is not asking to be paid for the puppies, she just wants them to be loved and treated like a member of the family.
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