by Pam Burgraff-Woody
Pam Burgraff-Woody is a Foster for Fresno Bully Rescue. FBR shares their animal rescue adventures with us every other month.
We had planned on taking a break from fostering while we moved so that we could get things set up at our new house. One text message changed those plans—and changed them fast!
There is always a wide range of emotions I go through when I hear the backgrounds of each foster we have helped, but some hit my heart more than the others. Momma Mia was one of them. The initial information we received was that she went into labor within an hour of being brought into Fresno Humane Animal Services. We didn’t know how many puppies she had had at that point because she was still in active labor. Knowing the survival rate of puppies exposed as much as they were that young terrified me. But there was never a second of hesitation of “Could we?” or “Should we?” at that point. It became “When do you want us to come pick her and her puppies up? Where do we pick them up?”
I remember seeing her face as my daughter pulled into our driveway and parked. She had stayed in the kennel overnight so she wouldn’t be moved around while giving birth; a total of six puppies were born. I immediately started calling her Momma for obvious reasons, but it felt like so much more. She was craving attention and human contact, but her motherly concern took top priority. She wouldn’t get out of the truck until we got the puppies out first, and she stuck very close to them as we set her up in our spare room. We were able to let her settle in; the puppies nursed while they all rested that first day. Sadly, the runt did not make it past the second night.
As sad as we were about losing the runt, Momma and the rest of the pups brought smiles to our faces and joy to our hearts, as we watched them thrive more and more as each day passed. It didn’t take long before we started calling her Momma Mia as we watched her run during breaks away from her pups, which led us come up with Italian nicknames for the puppies. Momma Mia was a very attentive mother. She was playful, but still taught the little ones well-needed lessons as they grew.
Once the puppies were weaned and Momma Mia was spayed, the puppies started finding their forever homes. Momma Mia then started her own adventures hoping for her forever home. We found out early on that she had never been around cats, except maybe to chase. Well, at our house, cats are part of the pack, too. Momma Mia now plays tag with our youngest cats but still respects the older ones, and will back off after a smack if she gets too pushy. Our pack ranges from a five-pound, 13-year-old Chihuahua, to a 95-pound Labrador, and everything in between, both in size and age: all females. She gets along with every dog she has met.
Momma Mia has become the country dog and even hangs out with the horses while supervised. She loves to ride in the truck and is getting better and better on the leash with each walk. She may look pretty serious but will grin for you when she is happy, and that seems to be most of the time. She is a solid 65-pound girl who is all muscle and energy. Momma Mia deserves to find her forever home where she can get all the love and attention her big heart deserves.
If you are interested in adoption or learning more about becoming a foster family, please visit www.fresnobullyrescue.org.