When it comes to fostering dogs, Paul Kirhagis and his fianceé Kim Kelderhouse are no strangers. By mid-2017, this couple had fostered over 180 dogs with help from their daughter. But three puppies were about to change their lives.
The family work closely with a local pit bull rescue and they’re always happy to foster dogs in need, in fact, they don’t shy away from a challenge.
So when they got a call about 3 abandoned newborn puppies, naturally, they jumped right in to help. The puppies were supposedly left in a box on a porch and they were extremely sick and covered in fleas. Their mother was nowhere to be found.
The three puppies were all skin and bones and Kim and Paul were unsure if they’d survive the night.
The family began to bottle feed the tiny pups, monitoring them every hour to make sure they were safe and well. Though their futures were still in uncertainty, the family decided to name the three puppies Hope, Spirit and Wish.
“Hope was the one that kind of always made us hopeful. She was always the biggest. Spirit, she was the smallest, but she had the most spunk. Wish was just kind of — I needed to name one of them Wish because of our wish for them to be okay.”
As the days went by, the puppies slowly grew taller and stronger. But it wasn’t just their strength that they needed…
Shortly after the puppies came into the family’s lives, another miracle entered. It came in the form of a female dog who’d been nursing before she was hit by a car. She was then taken to an animal shelter. Her owners returned to collect the dog at the shelter but they left her behind.
When she arrived at the shelter, her mammary glands were engorged and she was extremely depressed. Her puppies were nowhere to be found and she was in desperate need of affection.
Kim, Paul and their daughter took in the poor pup and named her Jersey.
“When she got to us, she could not walk. She was so heavy from milk.”-Advertisement-
All this dog wanted to do was mother her puppies and with them nowhere to be found, she was becoming very depressed. “I remember saying to her the first day, ‘I don’t think this dog’s gonna make it,’” Paul said.
“She feels to me like she’s given up. She doesn’t want to move, she doesn’t want to try, she doesn’t want to eat, she doesn’t want to drink, she just wants to lay there and basically die.”
However, when they introduced Jersey to the three puppies, the family knew that they’d just found the best foster mom for them!
“I took the puppies upstairs in a basket, and [Jersey] was like, beyond ecstatic to hear a puppy crying,” Kim said.
“I slowly introduced all three — instant mother reaction. She had a purpose again”
Immediately, her sense of spirit and life was lifted once again, Jersey loved these puppies unconditionally. It truly was a match made in heaven.
Don’t forget to watch the heart-warming stories of three puppies in need of care in the video below. Also, at Happiest we love hearing all of your opinions. So please let us know what you thought of the article in the comment section. 🐝