It had been an agonizing wait for the little puppies. To be separated from their mom at such an early age must have been nothing short of terrifying. But when their mom finally returned, the reunion would be nothing short of beautiful.
In July 2012, someone contacted the Bill Foundation animal shelter in Los Angeles, California, about a dog in need of help. The call came from another shelter that had recently acquired a stray dog named Asha Attie. When the pooch had arrived at the facility, she had given birth to a litter of pups.
But three days after becoming a mother, the momma dog in question was struggling to bond with her babies. It turned out that the shih tzu had been homeless in Los Angeles, and she was in a terrible state. In fact, her fur was so badly matted that she was left unable to offer milk to her puppies.
Staff at the shelter worried that the puppies would die if they couldn’t get vital milk from their mom, so they reached out to the Bill Foundation. And when a team from the foundation got there, they knew that they had to help Asha Attie and her litter.
Jo and Peter Forman founded the Bill Foundation back in 2000. Their late golden retriever Bill had first inspired them to set up the non-profit organization. The couple had saved the homeless dog in 1988 and wanted other dogs to experience the love they’d given him. So it was the perfect organization to help Asha Attie and her pups.
After all, newborn puppies are completely reliant on their mother’s milk for the first month of their lives. It’s not until they reach at least one month old that dogs start eating solid food, so it was vital to get Asha Attie the help she needed.
“The mama shih tzu and her four pups are safe,” read an update on the Bill Foundation Facebook page in 2012. “We are headed to the vet with all five of them and I’ll post pictures soon. We’ve named her Asha Attie. Asha means hope/life and Attie means strong bear. She is breathtakingly beautiful and such a good mommy.”
The team of rescuers then transferred the family to the Animal Medical Center. First, vets shaved Asha Attie in a bid to help her nurse more easily. It took vets a full 90 minutes to remove the poor pooch’s severely tangled fur.
Meanwhile, vets kept Asha Attie’s pups in a cage nearby. The whole experience must have been terrifying for the little ones, who were unable to see and hear properly. During this vulnerable time of their lives, puppies rely on being close to their moms for emotional and physical support.
So after what must have been an agonizingly long wait, the babies were reunited with their mother. Vets placed her back in the cage with her pups and anxiously awaited what would happen next. They didn’t know for sure if Asha Attie would now be able to nurse.
Thankfully, now that she was furless, Asha Attie was able to feed her babies for the very first time. Heartwarming footage of this incredible moment showed the pups happily drinking their mother’s milk. Furthermore, the mom groomed them as they did so to heighten the bonding experience.
Four weeks later, and with the help of their mother’s milk, all the puppies had grown big and strong. The whole family were now healthy and happy. Soon, they would all be ready to go to their forever homes.
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for someone to take an interest in the dogs. Two of Asha Attie’s pups – named Karina and Amia – were adopted in September 2012. “Karina was adopted by Angie, one of the amazing vet techs that cared for this little family after we rescued them. Karina kidnapped Angie’s heart and we couldn’t be more excited for little Karina,” revealed a post on the foundation’s Facebook page at the time.
However, the update also revealed that Asha Attie’s other pups – Wyatt and Emmett – were still looking for families. And of course, their loving mom would need a home too. “Asha is still looking too and she’s the best little lady,” the post read. “Such a princess and ready to be pampered as she deserves.”
And just two months later, a loving family adopted Asha Attie. “She has two dog siblings and very loving parents and is truly living the spoiled, wonderful life she deserves,” read an update on the Bill Foundation page. “It’s amazing to think that it was just four months ago today [when] Asha was dumped at the shelter while she was in labor.”
Asha Attie’s good news went down a storm on social media; a post announcing her adoption clocked up more than 900 reactions. Furthermore, well-wishers inundated the Bill Foundation with various kind comments.
“So happy for Missy Asha Attie,” read one of the many positive comments on the post. “I hope she and her new family will spend many wonderful years together. Another job well done, Bill Foundation.”
Another user added, “To the sweet Asha Attie. I’m so happy she has a loving home now! She is a beautiful girl and never deserved the life she was dealt. Bless the new family she has.”
Asha Attie’s story has since touched many more hearts. In 2012 the Bill Foundation posted a video of her amazing recovery on YouTube. And no less than two million people have since watched the moving footage.
Throughout Asha Attie’s journey, it was clear to see that her parental instinct was strong, even when she was in need. If it wasn’t for the Bill Foundation, however, she may never have got to bond with her babies. Instead, they were given the best possible start in life. After all, there’s nothing quite like a mother’s love.