Mama Belle and the Christmas Puppies


Yesterday marked the end of a special journey for my wife and me. She had started volunteering with a rescue group (helping manage their subscription to the petfinder web site). During Thanksgiving, we learned that the foster was going to receive a [very] pregnant Chihuahua that needed fostering. Having no idea what she was getting into, Peggy volunteered to help. This was the first time either of us had fostered a dog, and the first time either of us had been in charge of a pregnant dog, but we were willing to help a dog in need. We left Asheville a couple days early and headed back to Fort Mill and prepared for our new houseguest. The short version of the story is that on November 28, 2022 we picked up Belle from the Mecklenburg Animal Shelter, on December 14, we took her to the foster group’s vet for an emergency C-Section and later that day brought home Mama Belle and her six puppies:

  • Joseph
  • Merry
  • St. Nick (Nicky)
  • Rudolph (Rudy)
  • Noelle
  • Sparkle

The pups weighed 1-2 ounces each (we’re guessing because they were too small to put on a normal scale). On December 19, Sparkle (who was the runt of the litter) quietly passed over the rainbow bridge, and is now running around in Heaven with our two dogs Teddy Bear and Gracie. Over the next several weeks, we watched Mama Belle do an amazing job with the other five pups, who are now all over 1 pound each.

Unfortunately, our time as fosters had to come to an end. Yesterday, among tears of joy for the progress and tears of sorrow for seeing them go, we handed mama and the pups to their next foster mom, who will wean the pups and get them (and Belle) ready for their forever homes. They are all already adopted, so we know they will be loved and taken care of. I will write the rest of this journey after I have time to process the emptiness of our house. Apparently, they had worked their way into my heart almost as much as they had Peggy’s heart.

Mama Belle and the pups (from left to right, top down): Nicky, Joseph, Merry (the white one), Rudy and Noelle.