No, our man in Urumqi, Xinjiang in western China did not win the lottery. Well, in a way he did, but not by buying a ticket with winning numbers.
Black Pearl, a Tibetan Mastiff, has made her owner rich by giving birth to a litter of 22 valuable puppies.
Tibetan Mastiffs are among the world’s most expensive dogs. It is not unusual for one puppy to go for £100,000 (almost US$200,000).
Recently, one prized dog sold for more than £1 million at a trade show in Shijiazhuang, the capital of China’s Hebei Province.
Black Pearl has also almost broken a record as this litter is one of the biggest ever recorded. The largest number of puppies ever documented in a litter was 24 from a Neopolitan Bull Mastiff called Tia in Cambridgeshire, England.
“Usually a litter for a mastiff should be four or five puppies; sometimes it could be seven or eight, but this is very rare,” said Zhanqiang Su of Xinjiang Agricultural University.
Black Pearl’s owner, Qingcai Guo, 53, owns a pet shop and was delighted with the huge litter. Five of the puppies did die, but the others are thriving.
“She was given to me by a friend three years ago. We have always treated her like our own child and given her nothing but the best,” said Guo, proudly.
Guo and his wife take turns caring for the puppies around the clock, nursing them with bottles of milk.
It’s a dog’s life, say some, while others claim it is a dog’s life indeed.
Check out this video of a Tibetan Mastiff giving birth in another part of the world.