Couple With 8 Pups Adopts A Pregnant Dog
A couple from Ohio was not afraid of rescuing and fostering as many dogs as possible until they encountered a pregnant pit bull. They already had tons of animals at home, but they could make it work. Sadly, after a visit to the veterinarian, it seemed like they might not be able to do anything for that little girl. Was all hope lost? What would happen to the puppies? Let’s find out!
Chris and Mariesa Hughes fell in love over their passion for animals, especially dogs. It was a miracle that they found each other. The couple already had eight furries in their home when they decided to start fostering so that poor puppies didn’t have to stay in shelters. But if they knew what was going to happen with a foster and pregnant dog, they might have never done it…
GOING TO A KENNEL
Before they met, Mariesa had two Greyhounds that she adopted after fostering for a while. Meanwhile, Chris had six dogs that had all been rescued. Uniting their household with so many fur-babies was not easy, but it was wonderful to them. Unfortunately, when they stepped into Cuyahoga County Kennel to give another dog a chance, their lives changed…
STARTING A YOUTUBE
All they wanted in life was to help puppies get adopted, and when they moved in together, they started ‘Life in the Dog House’. It’s their official Youtube channel in partnership with HooplaHa Network. It’s not easy maintaining a household full of dogs, but that’s one of the reasons why they started posting online. Their following story would make them go viral…
INTRODUCING THEIR BROOD
They uploaded the first episode of ‘Life in the House’ back in 2013 and started from the beginning. Mariesa presented all of their dogs and how they got them. Their channel received decent attention because everyone loves seeing animals so happy while playing around. But one of their episodes would define a big part of their lives.
TIME TO FOSTER
While anyone would stop at one or two dogs, Chris and Mariesa already had eight when they got together. They were not looking to adopt anymore, but there are so many dogs out there in need of love that the couple wanted to do something. It’s better to be in foster care than to stay at a cold shelter. Therefore, Chris and Mariesa took a chance on a new dog…
Aside from earning some extra cash for their dogs, the proceeds of the channel would also help shelters and vet bills for all those animals in need. Additionally, they managed to convince a bunch of people why it’s better to adopt a rescue than to shop from a breeder. They had also established a great relationship with their local place in Ohio called Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter.
THE MISUNDERSTOOD BREED
One of the best things to know about Cuyahoga is that they rescued pit bulls, which are known for having a bad reputation in certain places. It’s still illegal to own them in certain states in America. But the shelter in Valley View, Ohio, hoped to change people’s minds. Meanwhile, Chris and Mariesa were just hoping to help another pittie…
They were no strangers to adopting pit bulls before, as they already had several among the brood at home. Both of them had never had a negative encounter and hoped to help dispel the nasty rumors about the breed. Chris and Mariesa considered it their duty to help these creatures. Neither of them would believe what happened…
STRENGTHENING THEIR RELATIONSHIP
Their love only strengthened with time, particularly because of their shared-love for four-legged babies. It was like they were destined to be together because Mariesa had already dated people that could not deal with the Greyhounds. They bonded over this shared value and continued to build on their relationship. That’s why bringing a new rescue home seemed like a great idea.
ONE DOG CAUGHT THEIR EYE
Cuyahoga County was filled with lots of beautiful dogs that required a good home. They were greeted by wagging tails and lolling tongues, but Mariesa could only see one poor pittie. Although other animals deserved to receive some love, it was like she knew that this poor girl needed some extra love. Mariesa was completely right…
MAKING A DECISION
Before going to the shelter, the couple had actually made a promise to each other. Because they already had so many dogs, they decided to only foster one pup. They made that pact because it’s so awful seeing all the doggies in need of attention. Therefore, Mariesa and Chris needed some sort of incentive to avoid bringing even more animals to their house.
THE PITBULL NAMED STORIE
Regardless of their pact, Mariesa took an interest in a pittie named, Storie. It was clear that she was just about to give birth. She had the cutest face with the biggest eyes. It was impossible to ignore her, especially in that condition.
Therefore, the doggy mom knew that they couldn’t leave her at the shelter despite their original promise. Furthermore, the volunteers at Cuyahoga told her something that tipped the scales even more…
The first to notice about Storie was her pregnant stomach, but there was an unfortunate background to this pit bull. It just broke Mariesa and Chris’s hearts. So, that’s why they couldn’t keep their pact. They knew if they brought her home, she would most likely give birth there.
They would be fostering a mom as well as her puppies. It can be a lot of work, but looking at Storie’s eyes, they were ready for the challenge. Until they discovered something else…
Meanwhile, the volunteers at the shelter told them that Storie had originally belonged to backyard breeders. There are respected breeders around the country, but some people still do it without permits or thought to the animals’ wellbeing.
However, these breeders had surrendered the pregnant dog to Cuyahoga because they could not afford to take care of her. Clearly, Chris and Mariesa had an important choice to make…
TAKING HER OR NOT?
This was a pretty big decision. They would be taking on a mom with her puppies on top of their 8 dogs back home. However, they were already bonding with Storie. The plan had been to foster one fur-baby, but they couldn’t say no to this little girl. Chris had to sit down to think about this, while Mariesa just continued to pet the pit bull mom-to-be.
HOW COULD THEY MAKE IT WORK?
The Hughes talked about Storie on the second episode of ‘Life in the Dog House’. “I’m trying to think, ‘Is this going to work? Is there any way we can make this work?’ And [Mariesa] in the meantime was just like, ‘Let’s save the dog, that’s why we’re here,’” Chris explained in the video. While they considered their options, another volunteer at the shelter had something else to say.
Everyone working at the shelter was baffled by Storie. It wasn’t just because of her background or worries regarding her future forever home. It was something else too. The pittie was just too pregnant. She should have given birth to the puppies already. In fact, she was a week later, which is not that common for dogs. Why had the poor girl gone into labor already?
That’s why Mariesa had originally noticed Storie, as her belly was extremely big. It was clearly time for her to give birth. Staff was hesitant to tell them about this, as they wanted the couple to foster Storie. However, Mariesa and Chris knew right away that something was going on. Would fostering this dog bring problems in their home? Was she at medical risk?
Although they tried to leave emotion out of their decision, Mariesa could see something in Storie’s eyes. That poor girl was trying to communicate something, and the Hughes could feel it. They just couldn’t leave her behind, especially with her litter about to come. However, they would soon discover something amazing about Storie and her coming puppies…
Once they made their decision, it was time to take her home. Normally, pit bulls litters have around 5 or 6 puppies. So, that would be a total of 15 dogs in the Hughes’ household. There was also a chance that their dogs would not get along, and that they would be too distracted to care for the others. But this was their choice. Would they regret it?
Finally, Storie was in the Hughes’ home. However, the couple still worried about the expectant dog. Was there something wrong with her pregnancy? Were the puppies alright? They had a million questions that their experience rescuing pit bulls could not answer right away.
It was their first time dealing with this. However, they started to research to see if there were some answers for their foster dog. What they discovered would have them rushing…
DOGS NEED A CALM PLACE
After a bunch of searching the world wide web, Mariesa finally found an article that explained what could be happening with Storie. The essay talked about how difficult life in a shelter can be for a dog. It can lead to anxiety, especially while pregnant.
Clearly, the pit bull was not comfortable at Cuyahoga and had already endured a bunch of trauma. While they had a clue now, the knowledge didn’t stop their worries. It was time to seek an expert…
GOING TO THE VETERINARIAN
The only option was taking Storie to the vet because the pit bull had yet to give birth, and things could take a dark turn if she didn’t Chris and Mariesa wanted to save her with all their hearts. Luckily, the visit with the veterinarian was successful.
It finally calmed their fears, and it was like they could breathe again. Both of them were so grateful that they had taken Storie from the shelter to their home. But there was still one worry…
Mariesa told the doctor at the vet what she had read online. They immediately took the pit bull for some further testing. They also decided to take an X-ray as well as an ultrasound to see the state of the puppies. Luckily, all of them were healthy. However, the vet saw something in the images that surprised everyone. Chris and Mariesa had no idea what was going on.
The vet announced that Storie was not expecting 5 or 6 puppies. She was actually carrying 12 babies on her belly. The shelter as well as the average of pit bulls was completely wrong. Chris and Mariesa couldn’t help but gasp at the surprising news.
They went over the scans and could also see a lot more puppies than they imagined. Naturally, they were incredibly worried. They would not be dealing with 15 dogs, but with 21. It seemed impossible…
The couple had a bunch of questions for the vet. 12 puppies was a huge responsibility, especially when they already had their own big brood at home. Could they continue fostering Storie and her babies? Was it safe considering their circumstances?
Why hadn’t she given birth already? Unfortunately, the veterinarian did not have good news. Although the puppies were doing well in the womb, there was a clear reason why Storie had not given birth already. They needed to wait…
The couple was told to take the dog home and wait two days to see if the babies came along. Although the vet had assuaged some of their worries, they were still worried about Storie. “We fight sometimes and I’m like ‘you’re supposed to be this dog rescuer, why aren’t we rescuing?!’
And then I end up with 12 puppies, and I say why did you say that Mariesa?'” Hughes said on Youtube. However, the real reason why Storie did not give birth earlier would soon reveal itself…
MAKING HER COMFORTABLE
Mariesa and Chris could only hope that Storie would be well. Otherwise, they would be returning to the vet as soon as 48 hours had passed. They could only give her as much love as possible and make her comfortable at home.
In the hopes that she would go into labor, the Hughes accommodated the kennel outside, adding a bed and blankets so that it would seem like a great place to give birth. That’s when Mariesa instinctually realized that all Storie wanted was to feel safe before becoming a mother. The wait was over…
Miraculously, after a little more than a day, Storie delivered all 12 babies. Everything went extremely well, and the puppies were just as healthy as the doctor had told them. The pitbull was ready to give birth at any moment but didn’t have a safe place to do it at the shelter.
When Chris and Mariessa gave her comfort and space, Storie did it on her own. In fact, the couple didn’t even witness the birth. They woke up to be greeted by newborns. What would they do now?
“Dogs having puppies at shelters, it’s not the best thing for them. It’s stressful for her, stressful for the puppies,” Chris explained on Youtube. It’s a privilege to see how puppies open their eyes and how their ears develop. They start running around the house and exploring on their own.
But in this case, they were also joined by a bunch of foster-siblings at the Hughes household. Meanwhile, Chris and Mariesa were just elated...
THE MORE THE MERRIER
Storie was the perfect mom to her puppies. The experience had taught Chris and Mariesa that they were doing the right thing. They would be fostering more dogs in the future, even if it seemed daunting. They considered keeping two of the puppies as their own, but that would bring their brood to 10 animals.
However, as soon as they uploaded a video on their Youtube and the story on Facebook, they had a bunch of requests for them. But would Storie also find a forever home?
When the story gained traction online, a man named Ryan took an interest. He had a bunch of experience with pit bulls and really wanted to adopt Storie. He spayed her so that she would never go through something like that. Meanwhile, Chris and Mariesa continued their dog-full lives and even created another Youtube channel called “Cooking with Mo”.
THE COUPLE GOT MARRIED
They also have their own website for “Cooking with Mo”, as part of a special project. They want more senior dogs to get rescued. In 2017, the couple walked down the aisle, and their 8 dogs were present at the event. They dressed them up as prettily as possible and had a wonderful time. But what is it like living in a house with so many animals?
WHAT IS IT LIKE IN THEIR HOUSE?
Chris and Mariesa not only have many dogs, but they also keep including their fosters to the mix. Additionally, they sleep with all of them. Therefore, they have bought two king-size beds, as well as a huge headboard. They also have steps next to the mattress for the smaller pups. It’s a wonderful life for any animal lover!
What the Hughes did is amazing, and all the love they have to give is just wonderful. Let us know what you thought of this story and rescuing animals. If you liked this article, share it with all your friends that might want to adopt a new puppy. See you next time!