While not quite 101 Dalmatians, it's not every day you see a litter of 11 Maremma pups, especially on the first go around.
But that's just what the Ashendens were welcomed with, when their bitch Eska brought her many, many bundles of joy into the world last Monday.
"It was really funny, we both had bets," Linda laughed.
"I bet seven and Dave bet five - we were way off!"
"Every couple of hours Linda would ring me, 'another two, another two'," Dave Ashenden added.
The Inverell couple are relatively new to the Maremma Sheepdog breed, having bought their first boy Eddie to guard their goat herds from foxes a year and two months ago.
The dogs are guardians, not guard dogs, and are well-known and used in America on the Prairies, yet are nowhere near as popular in Australia, let alone NSW.
They are a livestock guardian dog, and are indigenous to central Italy and the northern parts of Southern Italy, particularly to Abruzzo and the Maremma region of Tuscany and Lazio.
They have distinctive thick white fur - some with straight, some with 'crinkles' - which grows in a mane-like fashion on the males. They are capable and willing to take on bears, mountain lions and cougars.
"So really, foxes don't stand a chance," Mr Ashenden explained.
With their buggy's top speed at 40km/h, Eddie can lope along beside it no worries at all. Yet despite being fiercely capable, they are loving and loyal.
And as Mr Ashenden's grandson Mason testified, "so cute".
So really, foxes don't stand a chance.Dave Ashenden
With the sky-rocketing penchant for goat meat in Australia, Mr Ashenden is one of the region's farmers expanding his herds to capitalise.
They will be keeping two or three of the pups for themselves, and will sell the rest to good, appropriate homes.
"It's easy to train them, all you have to do is introduce them to what you want them to protect when they are young, and they will bond with them," he explained.
"Eddie, he plays with the goats, is best friends with them, it's like he thinks he is one."
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