Last weekend, a call came into the Animal Charity of Ohio, a nonprofit humane society, that a family of dogs needed their help. Jane MacMurchy, operations director of the nonprofit, and a humane agent arrived at the address to find a mother and her two puppies living in filth.
It was clear that the owners were not caring for the dogs, and the little family had learned to depend entirely on each other.
“They were living in terrible conditions,” MacMurchy told The Dodo. “It was a good 6 to 8 inches of debris in a makeshift pen, and [the puppies] were completely unsocialized.”
The owners surrendered the 5-month-old puppies, named Peaches and Layla, and their 7-year-old mom, Lady, to the rescuers, who rushed the dogs to the shelter.
While a veterinary checkup found the dogs were relatively healthy, the puppies lacked confidence and had no idea what to do when their mom wasn’t there to show them. It broke MacMurchy’s heart to see Peaches and Layla hug each other for comfort in the shelter.
“We were doing the vaccinations and the wellness check, and Mom finished first,” MacMurchy said. “We were walking her out into our intake area, and the puppies, without mom, latched on to each other because they were so scared.”
The little family is living together at the shelter, where they’re learning what it means to be safe.
“We give them time multiple times a day to just relax and get some TLC in a quiet room with a staff member so they can learn how to trust,” MacMurchy said. “They do much better when their mother is around, so we work with all three together, as well as individually. It’s a slow process, but they are learning how to be confident on their own.”
Just a few days after her rescue, Lady is already confident on her own — eager to meet new people and go on walks. However, for her two puppies, the socialization process is going to take a bit longer.
“[Lady] is a tail-wagging, wiggle-butt little love, who is just happy to receive affection,” MacMurchy said. “The puppies are not quite there yet. They are accepting of love and accepting of affection, they are wiggly and happy when they’re together and they’re leaning on each other for their confidence.”
“They are extremely dependent on each other,” MacMurchy added.
When Peaches and Layla are finally ready for adoption, the pups will hopefully go to a home together. There, they will not only get hugs from each other, but from their loving family, too.