Poppy's plethora of puppies a perfect Mothers' Day gift

Poppy, a two-year-old Irish Setter from Galashiels, has given birth to no fewer than 15 puppies.

“We were told the record for the breed is 16 and that the average litter is around eight or nine, so it was quite a surprise when they kept on coming,” said Poppy’s owner Lisa Wardle.

“It might not be a record for a single litter, but it’s certainly a bumper crop – and it all happened on Mother’s Day.”

The first puppy arrived shortly after midnight on Sunday and the last made an appearance early the same afternoon.

“I’m happy to report Poppy and all the newcomers – eight boys and seven girls – are doing well, although, as you can imagine, things are a bit chaotic in the Wardle household.

“When we got Poppy two years ago we didn’t really think about her having pups, but she’s been such a lovely natured pet, we decided that motherhood would suit her.”

Lisa, a home carer, bought Poppy as a puppy from Jedburgh couple Anne and Gordon Douglas of Jedburgh.

“I contacted Anne and Gordon who had recently acquired another Irish Setter called Roan and we arranged for Poppy to pay him a visit on January 26,” explained Lisa.

“When the vet confirmed the mating had been successful, we were told to expect around 10 puppies – we had no idea we would end up with 15!”

The new arrivals will stay at the Wardle family’s St Andrew Street home until they are eight weeks old before being sold.

Meanwhile, Lisa, husband Peter and children Abi (17), Ben (15) and young Jack (7) are “taking it in shifts” to ensure the youngsters come to no harm.

“It’s a very hectic, happy place right now,” Lisa told The Southern.