Anyone who is a parent knows that the bond between a parent and their child is one of the strongest bonds possible. Therefore, watching a mother with her babies is one of the most heartwarming sights. This does not only apply to human mothers with their babies, but to all animals. If this is one of the best sights in the world, then one of the most heartbreaking situations is a mother that loses her child or children. Again, this applies to both humans and animals.
I Heart Dogs tells the tragic story of a Chihuahua called Rosa who gave birth to her litter of puppies prematurely. Sadly, all the puppies in the litter died. She had been owned by a commercial breeder who had decided to give up the dog after the death of her puppies. Rosa was taken to Secondhand Hounds in Minnesota. By pure coincidence, a few hours after Rosa arrived at the shelter, the shelter received a phone call about a litter of puppies who had lost their mother. There were five puppies in the litter, and their mother had died after suffering seizures. This meant that the five puppies were orphaned had had no one to nurse them.
Secondhand Hounds thought that the perfect solution to this problem was to pair up Rosa with the five puppies. The puppies still needed a mother to care for them as they were only two weeks old, and Rosa still had the natural urge to nurture that occurs in the weeks following childbirth. Although the theory of this idea was excellent, they had no idea if it would work, and there was a strong possibility that Rosa could reject the puppies.
Fortunately, Secondhand Hounds were pleased to find that Rosa and the puppies bonded immediately, and they were proud to announce this to their followers on their Facebook page. They explained that pairing a bereaved mom with orphaned puppies is often a big risk and that the adoptive mom can often reject the puppies based on their smell. Thankfully, it was as though the puppies had been with Rosa all along. She took to them instantly. Straight away, Rosa began to clean the pups and was then happy to let them nurse from her. As far as Rosa is concerned, they are her puppies now.
Rachel Mairose, who is the founder and executive director of Secondhand Hounds, has said that the introduction lasted for a mere matter of minutes. She describes how Rosa’s tail began wagging as soon as she heard the cries of the young puppies. Mairose has also described the situation as fate. She truly believes that Rosa and the puppies all arrived at the shelter at the same time for a reason and that it is a match made in heaven. There was an equal need for each other that was fulfilled by the union.
A member of staff from Secondhand Hounds explained that this was the best outcome for all the dogs. It is common for dogs who have lost their litters to become depressed. According to Hill’s Pet, grieving dogs can become lethargic, disinterested in activities, lose their appetite, and undergo many changes in their behavior. For a dog that has lost its litter, adopting puppies can help them to overcome their grief as they can fulfill their need to nurture and have something to distract them.
From the puppies’ point of view, they were in desperate need of a mother as they were too young to wean. Similarly, they needed a mother to teach them how to groom and behave like a dog. Rosa was still producing milk, so there was the possibility of her nursing the pups so that they could become strong. Therefore, there were benefits for both Rosa and the puppies. The staff member went on to say that as soon as the puppies are weaned, Rosa will be spayed. So, this is her last litter of puppies. All dogs that are adopted from this shelter are spayed as part of their policy to ensure that dogs are not overbred and that there are no unwanted litters of puppies produced.
For the time being, Rosa and her adopted puppies are being cared for by an experienced dog foster carer who has cared for many dogs from Secondhand Hounds in the past. Rosa and the puppies will remain with the foster carer until the puppies are fully weaned. Once they are all weaned, the rescue shelter will begin looking for forever homes for the puppies and Rosa. Although it is unlikely that any of the dogs will be adopted by the same family, it is a chance for them all to have a fresh start. The puppies have had a terrible start to their lives after losing their mother, but thanks to Rosa they are growing healthy and strong so that they can now have the chance to live happy lives in a home with a loving family.
As for Rosa, she had a terrible experience after losing her puppies combined with being given up by her owner and sent to a shelter. This situation could have caused her to suffer from terrible depression. Thankfully, she had her new puppies to help her to overcome her grief and to give her something new on which she could focus. Just like the puppies, she is now having the chance to make a fresh start in life with a new family. She is a loving dog with a fantastic personality, so she will make a wonderful pet for anyone who chooses to adopt her and welcome her into their home. She gave the puppies a chance for a fresh start, and now she just needs a kind dog lover to come forward and give her the same chances in life. Hopefully, a new home will soon be found for Rosa.