It's the second litter for Ariel, and although it's not the largest ever, it's close: There are only two litters on record that outnumber Ariel's. (An American foxhound who had 23 puppies in 1944 in Pennsylvania holds the top spot in The Guinness Book of Records; next comes a yellow Labrador who gave birth to 18 last year in Utah.)
Mother and puppies are doing fine, thank you, making their home on the couple's enclosed front porch. But feeding time has been hectic. The pups, arranged and choreographed by Wendover, 29, have nursed in two shifts of eight. "That way," says Wendover, a waitress who has been married since 1993 to Howard, 42, a state highway worker, "they didn't have to scramble."
Still, what does one do with 16 Saint Bernard puppies—go on large-group Alpine rescues? Actually, Wendover and Howard are planning to sell 15 of them, at $1,000 each; so far, nine are spoken for. And the 16th? "Whoever is left," says Howard, "is ours."