Cruella de Vil must have the Morley house on her GPS, but with all the media attention, we think the puppies inside are safe. The Morley’s dog, Button, delivered 18 Dalmatian puppies on December 23rd, beating out last year’s litter of 16. Nicola and Adam Morley have color-coded the pups in order to keep their records accurate. The 12 males and 6 females have Christmas-themed names: Santa Claws, Jingle Bells, Brandy Butter, Balsam Fir, and so on. Rudolph Reindeer will be staying with the Morleys, but the others are promised elsewhere.

The average litter for a Dalmatian is 8 or 9 puppies. This bunch was delivered in about 10 minutes by C-section.

Dalmatians have an historical place as firehouse dogs. In the days of stagecoaches. Horse theft was so common that stagecoach drivers strung hammocks between two horse stalls and slept with the horses at night to guard against thieves. If the driver owned a Dalmatian, he could sleep in the house or the stagecoach hotel. Dalmatians form an amazingly tight bond with horses. Once the dogs bonded to the horses, no stranger would dare lay a hand on them. The practice spread and the dogs became known as “coach dogs” as drivers in England, Scotland and Wales used them to night-guard their coaches.