Getting the whole family together for a reunion can be tough, especially when you’ve got a big family. Yet Bess the dog and her owners managed to do just that 10 months after she said goodbye to her 12 puppies!
It was a heartwarming reunion for the large doggy family, because, initially, vets thought some of the puppies might not make it that far.
Bess the dog was found as a pregnant stray, but Tracey Stewart took her in.
Not much is known about Bess’s life pre-pregnancy. She was found on the streets of Tennessee as a pregnant stray before being taken in by author Tracey Stewart and her husband.
When Bess gave birth, she had an exceptionally large litter of 12 dogs. Towards the end, runt of the litter Burrdie was stuck in the birth canal for two hours. Vets tied a pink ribbon around her to signify that she needed extra care.
“The doctors came out and told us that there was a chance that, because there were so many puppies, they probably weren’t all going to make it,” Vyolet Jean Savage, a caregiver for the pups, told Reunited.
They were especially worried about Burrdie.
“We really thought we would just get through the birth and that would be the end of it,” Savage said.
Fortunately, that wasn’t the case. According to Inspire More, all 12 puppies were taken back to Stewart’s 45-acre farm in Colts Neck, New Jersey.
Once they got there, Stewart had to convince her husband to take out living and dining room furniture to make room for the litter.
She called in a group of volunteers to take care of Bess’s 12 puppy litter.
Before long, Stewart realized she was in way over her head taking care of Bess and her 12 pups. So she called in a group of volunteers so that there was always someone to watch over the litter.
After weeks of care, they started to notice improvements in the dogs’ health, especially Burrdie’s.
“Seeing her thrive and become the same size as everybody else, that was really profound for us,” Stewart told Reunited.
Caretakers watched on as all of the dogs started to play together and develop their own personalities. Even though they could tell that the pups had grown enough to move into forever homes, they didn’t want to say goodbye.
“We had thoughts of keeping them all at one point. At least I did,” Savage said laughing.
Bess was adopted into a permanent home and later so were her children.
Surprisingly the pups were not the first to go. Hearing Bess’s story, Susan Zaleski felt compelled to adopt her.
“The first time we heard about Bess, we fell in love with her right away and knew immediately that this was our dog,” Zaleski told Reunited.
Once Bess was officially part of the family, she took on the role of a “nanny dog.” She would show as much care for Zaleski’s kids as she did raising her own pups.
Meanwhile, Bess’s puppies were finding their forever homes. Their caretakers worried that it would take a long time to find homes for everybody, but each pup was quickly adopted by one of Stewart’s friends or family members.
After ten months without seeing each other, Bess and all her puppies got together for a reunion.
On the one-year anniversary of Bess’s litter, Stewart, Zelaski, and each of the puppies’ owners got together in the park for one massive birthday bash. It had been 10 months since the dogs had seen each other but they approached each other as friends, not strangers.
Bess, Burrdie, Ginny, Gracie, Osa, Louis, Drake, Rupert, Ranger, Seven, Sandy, and two dogs named Ruby were all decked out in birthday gear including party hats and ruffs. Burrdie wore a pink ruff in reference to the pink ribbon she wore as a baby.
“Seeing Burrdie and that pink collar around her and remembering what it used to represent, it just touched my heart,” Stewart said.
What touched her heart even more though was simply seeing everyone together.
“It’s nice to feel like this birth is actually creating a community around it,” she said. “My hope is that we get to have this every year and this goes on for years and years and years … to come.”
Watch this heartfelt reunion in the video below.
A sweet dog named Bess was found pregnant as a stray, and the perfect foster family stepped up to help her raise her 12 babies. Burrdie was the runt of the litter and needed lots of extra TLC. Today on Reunited, watch the whole family find loving forever homes — and reunite once the puppies are all grown up! The moment Bess sees Burrdie again is pure magic 💞
Posted by Reunited on Saturday, June 9, 2018