It's a Christmas puppy miracle
GYMPIE French bulldog breeder Samantha Maher has been in the dog breeding game her entire life.
She has seen and dealt with it all... at least she thought she had.
Ms Maher is one of Australia's most respected breeders, so when her prized dog Gloria gave birth to a healthy litter of four pups on December 14, it was business as usual.
That was until eight days after delivery, Gloria gave birth to another pup.
The robust female fit seamlessly in with her litter mates and Gloria didn't miss a beat.
Ms Maher said she has not experienced anything like it in her career and she is calling it a Christmas miracle.
"Last time Gloria had pups they were five days early,' Ms Maher explained.
"So I was expecting her to have her puppies early.
"They came five days early (again), all healthy and all alive.
"At the end I thought there was another one there but she didn't want to push anything out.
"I watched her and it didn't happen and it was fine.
"Seven days later I am delivering pups from Mia (another one of Ms Maher's dogs) and I was awake all night deliver (her five pups).
"In the morning I came out to turn the air con on for Gloria and there was another pup in the box.
"She had another pup eight days later and it was alive and well.
"All I can think that the four came out naturally and the placenta has stayed attached,” she said.
Ms Maher estimates that she has delivered over 500 litters of pups and this is the first time there has been such a delay for the entire litter to arrive.
While most of her dogs are sold on to loving homes, Ms Maher says she is going to keep the newest addition to the pack.
She is undecided on a name but says it will be something with a Christmas theme.
"I recently shared this story on a (dog breeding guidance) Facebook page with 70,000 members and nobody has come up with anything like this happening,” Ms Maher said.
"Being alive is the main thing.
"It does happen that they (dogs) will have pups later but there has been no infection or sickness, she was happy.
"I believe it is a miracle.”
Veterinarian Ivan Schindler agreed and said in forty years of practice he has never heard of a puppy being born eight days after its litter-mates.
"Eight days is definitely unusual,” Mr Schindler said.
"For it (the pup) to survive I would say they are pretty lucky.”
"Usually they die,” he said.