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Rescued Mama Of 12 Puppies Gets An Epic Birthday Surprise

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on December 23, 2022

Bess the dog enjoys walks, hikes, days at the beach, and even road trips. She does not enjoy swimming, though. And as long as you aren’t forcing her into a swim, Bess is one of the happiest dogs you’ll ever meet. Just look at her sweet smile, and you can certainly see her joy.

But this girl had to go through it to get to the good life. And part of her past involves living as a pregnant stray dog on the Tennessee streets. She was just about ready to give birth to twelve puppies when Tracey and John Stewart found Bess. They were prepared to help, but complications arose, sending them to the emergency room.


Cute Little Dozen Arrives After Trouble

One of the puppies was stuck in the birth canal, blocking the way for her and her siblings, with Tracey explaining, “She was in the canal for two, three-plus hours, with limited oxygen.”

Soon though, firstborn Burrdie made her way into the world. Burrdie wasn’t the vet staff’s only concern, though. With that many puppies, doctors worried some of them might not make it.

“That just wasn’t an option,” said Tracey.


Tracey and John took everyone home, and though they knew it would be round-the-clock care, “We just were 100% in.”


And that maximum effort yielded a success rate of one hundred percent. All twelve puppies thrived under their care, and soon, it was time for everyone to find their forever homes!


Homes For Everyone

Bess was the first of the bunch to find her forever fit, as the Zaleski family felt a connection to the sweet mama dog from the first time they heard about her.

“We fell in love with her right away and knew immediately that this was our dog,” shared mom Susan Zaleski. “Bess’ personality is….she is definitely a Nanny dog. She’s always checking on the kids. I do see a motherly instinct in her.”

Bess’s twelve little sweethearts weren’t far behind in their quest for homes. And in a very fortunate twist, Bess and her puppies each found their homes with friends and family so they could stay close. And that made it easy for the puppies and their people to plan the ultimate surprise for their mom.


Ten months after Bess and her puppies went their separate ways, mom and pups reunited once again for a one-year birthday celebration. The puppies had grown into fine adults, and seeing them all together brought a joy so big to Bess’s heart that she couldn’t help jumping right in to greet them!


“You could just see joy.”


“It was a very successful reunion. My hope is that we get to have this every year, and that this goes on for years and years and years and years to come.”

RELATED: Mama Dog Who Lost Her Litter Is A Miracle For Ten Orphaned Puppies

Check out how much fun Bess and her babies had together in this touching episode of The Dodo Reunited.

Feature Image: @bess_is_love/Instagram & The Dodo/YouTube

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