A four-year-old Poodle named Dream turned up in an overcrowded shelter in the high desert near Lancaster, California — dirty, matted, and skinny. Shelter workers labeled her a stray. They didn’t even know she was pregnant, but she was, and she gave birth to two tiny puppies on Dec. 2.
One died right away. The other fought to survive, as Dream, so sickly herself, did her best to nurse him. The pair needed to get out of that shelter and get some real help, and that’s when a kind soul spotted Dream and her puppy and pegged them for transfer to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
It was there her life would change. Not only did Dream and her puppy — staff named her Cupcake — get placed in a great foster home right away, but Dream gained a new reason to live: Candy, an Aussie mix puppy who was having a rough go at life.
On Jan. 10, not long after Dream and Cupcake found their foster home, the Helen Woodward center brought in a mother Aussie mix named Karly and her seven puppies. One of them, Candy, was tiny compared with the rest. She had been getting trampled, struggling to get her mother’s milk, and she was left stunted, weak, dehydrated, covered in bite wounds, and suffering from a nasal infection.
The center’s veterinarian, Stephanie Oba, took Candy in, fostering her separately and giving her round-the-clock care. She would get better, but she still needed one thing. She needed a mother.
Someone on the staff had an idea: What about Dream? Her puppy Cupcake was Candy’s age. And the pups looked nearly alike, despite one having a Poodle mom. What if Dream accepted Candy as her own?
Foster Pam Fleischman agreed. Dream met Candy, and immediately took her in. She treated Candy as “though she were the baby she had lost,” reports the center.
“Dream has been an amazingly good mother,” said Fleischman. “She is content to spend most of her time lounging with Cupcake and Candy and attentively caring for them. We’re looking forward to seeing how the puppies’ personalities develop during the next month. They are both angels and immediately became the best of friends.”
This story had a happy ending, but it’s not over. Cupcake and Candy will soon need their own homes. The two dogs will be fixed in a few weeks and will be ready to be adopted after that, according to the center. If you’re interested, please contact the Adoptions Department at 858-756-4117 (ext. 1) or visit the Helen Woodward Animal Center.
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