When an animal rescue worker discovered a badly injured shepherd mix near a Canadian wildlife reserve, she felt terrible for her. Then the dog led her to a den, where she discovered the injured dog was nursing a litter of puppies — and one kitten.
“I cried because she was in such bad condition with her leg, but she was obviously nursing her puppies and this kitten,” Criss Gerwing said in the Winnipeg Free Press.
The dog was brought to the Edmonton Humane Society, where it was discovered she’d been hit by a car and broken her femur in five places. Vets were going to amputate, but a local veterinarian volunteered to do the delicate surgery it would take to keep her leg.
She was named Esperanza, which means “Hope” in Spanish. She has come through surgery well. She is back with her pups until after the holidays. Then they’ll all go into foster care.
“She is such a sweet, sweet dog. She has such a wonderful personality,” said humane society worker Shawna Randoph.
“It’s amazing when you think about it. You have this dog who is just so giving of herself, caring for these newborn puppies and the kitten, making sure they were cared for even though she was obviously in a lot of pain.”
As for the kitten, now named Jacob, he was old enough to be weaned — plus dog’s milk wasn’t doing well in his tummy. So he’s currently in foster care, and comes in every day to socialize and snuggle with his adopted mom and siblings. Humane society officials are hoping to adopt or foster Jacob and Esperanza together. Whoever gets the pair won’t be getting a dog and a cat: They’ll essentially be getting two dogs:
“He’s actually acting more like a dog than a cat,” Randolph said. “Kittens are very rambunctious and playful, but he just wants to hang out. As soon as he gets to the dog family he’s … cuddling. And even with his (human) foster mom, he follows her around like a dog does.”
What a great story for the holidays. Once again, evidence that maternal love knows no bounds.