A Lurgan mum said she nearly had a canary when her Shih Tzu dog Bailie started to have pups on the school run to Armagh.
Deirdre Mitchell was heading to Armagh to collect her daughter Nadine (11) from her first day at school when her other daughter Shannon (9) spotted that Bailie was giving birth.
“I had no idea she was in pup,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Deirdre had been heading to collect her daughter who had just started the Royal School in Armagh.
“Bailie had been out of sorts and we took her with us,” said Deirdre.
Her other daughter was in the car and noticed that Bailie was about to give birth.
Indeed the first puppy was born on the outside lane of the Northway as they approached High St Mall in Portadown.
Deirdre pulled into the mall and there the first little puppy was born.
“I had to get to Armagh to pick up my daughter and I know nothing about birthing pups so I rang my cousin Geraldine Haughian to help with the midwife. Her wee dog had pups a few months ago so she has had plenty of experience.”
Luckily Geraldine was on her way to Armagh also to pick up her daughter Brianna, who was starting St Catherine’s College.
At this stage, the stressed out mum was at the Royal School gates. She hurriedly shouted across the school yard to her daughter to come quickly as Bailie was having pups.
And then the second pup began to emerge as Deirdre and her ever increasing family pulled out of the car park at the Royal School.
“The puppy showed signs of difficulty so I pulled into a parking space at the Mall and Geraldine came to help me,” said Deirdre.
The two car loads of mum, daughters, Bailie and two pups raced back to their home at Turmoyra in Lurgan and a third little puppy was born.
“It was so exciting,” said Deirdre. “We had bred Bailie in June but we didn’t think she took.
“It wasn’t till she was a bit out of sorts and on the way to Armagh that I started counting back the dates.”
All three puppies already have homes and have provisionally be named Holy Smoke/Stan, Oh Bejayziz/Anne) and What the... /Your Man.
Shannon, Nadine and their older sister Rebecca (14) have been rallying round as have Brianna and Niamh Haughian making sure the puppies are spoilt rotten.