The miracle of life is a surprising and unpredictable thing, especially for dogs. You never really know what's going to happen when your dog gives birth, but it's a wonderful experience.
When I was 12 years old, my dog had puppies. The vet told us she would be having between three to five puppies. A couple months later, we welcomed nine little fluff balls and honestly, I don't think I have ever been more excited. The whole pregnancy was a surprise (thanks to a neighbor's roaming dog who took a fancy to my girl) but the experience was amazing.
For Miley the dalmatian's family, their surprise was even bigger. Miley had an ultrasound and her owners learned that she was pregnant with three puppies. However, 13 hours of labor proved that estimate was WAY off.
Miley became the proud mother of not three puppies, but eighteen. That's right, 18 puppies at once. Her owner, Cecilia Langton-Bunker said, "We got to 16 and thought she was done. After 13-and-a-half hours of labour, it was quite amazing, she popped out another two."
After giving birth to the 18 puppies, Miley was doing great. Apparently the father, Astro, was having a bit of a harder time accepting his new role as a dad. "He's a bit disconcerted by the 18 puppies running around, he's like 'are these all mine,'" Langton-Bunker said.
It was both dogs' first litter, but really they went all out. As the puppies got older, they just kept getting cuter and cuter...
Astro and Miley outdid Pongo and Perdita. The 18 pups started off as spotless little blobs, but grew up into the most beautiful dogs. They all gained their own unique markings and as they got bigger, they started to exhaust their poor mom.
Obviously, Langton-Bunker was going to have to find new homes for the puppies because having 20 dogs in the house was going to quickly become unbearable, but it wasn't a problem to find people to adopt them when they were old enough.
The litter of puppies broke the record for the largest litter in Australian history, matching the number of puppies born in the UK in 2009 to another dalmatian. It seems to be a genetic similarity doesn't it!
Miley had to get some help when it came to nursing, because there were just too many puppies to handle on her own.
Her owners had to step in and assist with hand-feeding to make sure everyone got the same amount of nutrients needed to grow big and strong.
Keep in mind, this is only HALF of them:
Miley's twelve daughters and six sons have gone to their new families now, but it's truly incredible to see how incredible this dog really was!