‘Nothing short of a miracle’

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A mother’s love is the most powerful thing in nature. Mother animals can always be seen doing everything possible to protect and care for their young ones.

And sometimes, a mother’s instincts kick in even when it’s not their own children. That was the case for one loving mama dog, who stepped up to care for a litter of orphaned puppies.

Lexi Johnson, from Clear Lake, Minnesota, is a pet foster through Ruff Start Rescue. Recently, she was caring for a mother dog named Poppy, who gave birth to a litter of ten puppies.

But sadly, Poppy died unexpectedly soon after, leaving the newborn puppies orphaned, right when they needed a mother most. “We frantically started figuring out our next move with the babies,” Lexi told KARE.

Facebook/Lexi Ruhland Johnson

Lexi and her fellow volunteers bottle fed the puppies, a time-consuming process that kept them up in the early hours of the morning.

While Lexi writes that the pups were “thriving with their humans,” she knew they needed another solution to give the dogs the best care.

“The best place for them is with a mama who can not only give them some good milk, but teach them dog things, behaviors we as humans can’t,” Lexi wrote on Facebook.

But she soon found a possible solution in another sad story: another foster dog named Pepper had recently given birth to a litter of puppies, but none of them survived, leaving Pepper devastated: “She wanted to mom big time,” Lexi wrote.

Facebook/Lexi Ruhland Johnson

With a litter of puppies that had lost their mom, and a mom who had lost her puppies, Lexi realized there was a perfect solution: let Pepper care for the puppies!

Pepper needed no convincing, and quickly started mothering the puppies as if they were her own.

“When she got to our house, we brought her in the puppy room and she immediately sat next to the litter,” Lexi told KARE. “I started placing puppies around her and she laid down and the puppies instinctively hobbled towards her and started nursing.” 

“She just perked up,” she told FOX 9. “Nothing short of a miracle.”

Facebook/Lexi Ruhland Johnson

Pepper is now caring for all ten puppies, providing all the love they need. While Lexi says the puppies’ story is “far from over,” they’re all in good hands thanks to this caring dog.

Lexi wrote on Facebook that she cried “happy tears” at the sight of Pepper caring for the pups, “knowing that mama Poppy would be so appreciative of Pepper taking over the mama role.”

What a sweet, caring dog. We’re so glad mama dog Pepper has some puppies to care for, and these orphaned puppies have a mom.

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