When This Dalmatian With A Giant Belly Gave Birth, They Realized The Vet Had Made A Big Mistake
When a Dalmatian dog gave birth in Ballarat, Australia, in May 2017, doctors and animal specialists alike were absolutely stunned by the sheer size of the pregnant dog’s belly. When it came time to give birth nobody was quite prepared for the number of surprises that came next.
Cecilia Langton-Bunker is a 43-year-old dog breeder who lives in the city of Ballarat in Victoria, Australia. She specializes in breeding Dalmatians and worked specifically with the breed for well over 25 years. But, four years ago, Cecilia decided to start her own business as a full-time breeder and call it CCDalmatians. Her company would not only breed the dogs but train them for shows as well. However, Cecilia would soon get the show of a lifetime.
The interesting all starts with her first Dalmations she brought in as a breeder. Their pedigree names are ‘Sarasota From Russia With Love’ and ‘Astro Wonder Boy’, but they were named Miley and Astro for short. Something began to seem fishy when in early 2017 Miley seemed to unexplainably gain weight. It soon came out that Miley and Astro were expecting a litter of puppies together. The pregnancy seemed to be going on without a hitch until one day they took Miley in to run some scans of her enlarged belly and what they saw was definitely out of the ordinary.
On the ultrasound, it showed that Miley would give birth to just three puppies, but Cecilia was skeptical considering the size of Miley’s belly. Speaking to local TV station 9 News Melbourne, she explained, “Initially, the vet said there was going to be three, but I knew there would be more than that and thought there would be 15 or 16.” She then added, “Normally, Dalmatians have eight to ten puppies, and first-time moms usually have less.” Even with all of her experience breeding, Cecilia could have never predicted what would happen on 18 May 2017, at Ballarat Veterinary Practice, when Miley went into 14 hours of labor.
Miley went into labor at 7:00 a.m. and didn’t give birth until well past 8:30 p.m. On average, she was giving birth to a newborn puppy every hour. When it was all said and done Miley had birthed a whopping litter of 18. An overjoyed Cecilia said, “We got to 16 and thought she was done. After 13 and a half hours of labor, it was quite amazing, she popped out another two.” Miley and her litter of pups not only smashed the Australian record, but it has also broken the world record for the number of Dalmatian pups born in one litter. In fact, Miley and Astro even had more puppies than the dogs in Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. In the 1961 animated film classic, Pongo and Perdita only parented 15 puppies and adopted the rest of them.
Cecilia told the 9 News cameras, “We realized when the last one was born we had something amazing.” She went on to add, “It’s absolutely superb, I couldn’t be happier with the litter.” The parents of the puppies seemed to be doing just fine after the birth. Miley, of course, was exhausted from not only giving birth to 18 puppies but feeding them as well. Astro seemed to be enjoying fatherhood as well only to be just a little overwhelmed by all his newborns to look after.Cecilia joked, “He’s a bit disconcerted by the 18 puppies running around. He’s like, ‘Are these all mine?’”
The larger than life litter was made up of 12 female and 6 male pups. All 18 had their own individual collar, each in a different color because otherwise, nobody would be able to tell them apart. In a Facebook post, Cecilia thanked her colleague Hayley Jade for making the very handy puppy collars. Cecilia stated, “They must have their collars on at all times, so we do not get them mixed up, because sometimes at a quick glance you can get them muddled.”
As well as collars, all of the newborn pups were microchipped and dewormed as well, making sure they would grow up healthy and strong. Due to the way Dalmatians have been bred, the pups also needed to pass a hearing test. The gene that causes this hard of hearing for the pups is actually linked to the gene which also causes their famous spotty markings. Since Dalmatian pups are usually born functional hearing and then soon develop deafness a few weeks into life so it was important for Cecilia to get her pups checked up on.
Cecilia and her pups returned to Ballarat Veterinary Practice for the 18 puppies hearing check up on June 27, a little more than a month since they were all born.Cecilia admitted on social media, “Getting them to the vets for their first microchipping, worming and hearing tests took a lot of organization.” Luckily the facility had seven veterinary nurses and a wheeling trolley to deal with all the anxious little pups.
Jade Martin stepped in as the primary caretaker for the 18 pups. Jades job included feeding the puppies every four hours for the first four weeks as well as training, exercising and cleaning. Although Jade was the one in charge of it all she managed to gain a lot of help from her dog-loving daughter, Lulu.
Cecilia planned on breeding Miley and Astro to maintain her dog’s bloodline. However, Jade’s decision to breed Miley was so that she could keep a single female puppy. ‘Tilly The Love Story’ or Tilly for short, was selected by Jade to keep out of the entire litter. Lulu was absolutely thrilled to have Tilly be a part of the family. A post on the CCDalmatians Facebook page explained, “Lulu has created a very special bond with her new beloved Dalmatian, Tilly. Watching Lulu and Tilly grow up together is the most rewarding thing to see as a breeder.”
Cecilia also owns one of the puppies from the 18-strong, record-breaking litter. ‘From Paris With Love’ also known as Paris is one of Miley and Astro’s daughters. A proud Cecilia told Scribol, that her pup had won “Baby Puppy in Show under a Dalmatian specialist judge… at Dalmatian Club Of Victoria’s Jubliee Show.” As for the rest of the litter, it was not hard to find them each their forever home. Cecilia explained, “For every person, I accepted [in giving] a home [to] one of the puppies, I turned down seven offers.” Three puppies were to be located in South Australia, two went to Western Australia and the rest stayed in the Victoria area.
When the litter was registered with the Australian National Kennel Council, the puppies were all given pedigree as well as pet names. The theme for naming the litter was love, and the names all begin with the prefix ‘CCDals’. Aside from Paris and Tilly, the degree names are; Pongo Pure Love, Dakota Real Love, Lucia Sweet Love, Lexi Love Heart, Poppy Forever Loved, Oreo Pure Love, Remi Colour of Love, Love Always Pepper, Loki Ture Love, Lexi Devine Love, Stella Love Star, Dixie Pixie Love, JayDee Astro Love, Pocky True Love Heart, Luna Love Good and Cruise Endless Love. These names are definitely a mouthful.
Cecilia took inspiration from the Harry Potter franchise with Luna Love Good. Pongo Pure Love – known as Pongo for short – who is presumably named after the dad in 101 Dalmatians. Brigette Lunn, of Clearview in Adelaide, ended up adopting Pongo from the litter and wrote on the CCDalmatians wall, “We couldn’t be happier with our beautiful boy.” To which CCDalmatians replied, “Pongo you are a true star.”
Christine Brain is another happy owner of one of the puppies, “We are so lucky to now own one of the Famous 18, gorgeous Lucia. It was well worth the wait! She has only been home for a few days but has fitted in nicely. Not only has she mastered the steep staircase, to our amazement, she is well on the way to being toilet trained. Her ‘brother’ Thomas took a few days to accept the tiny girl, but now they happily chase each other around the house. So nice to have a playful puppy again.” The beautiful litter is doing well and spreading love to owners across the globe. One thing is for certain, nobody will forget where they came from.