Couple Chris and Mariesa are just about completely dog crazy. But they’re also crazy generous; indeed, they devote a great deal of their time to fostering rescue dogs. However, their newest addition would prove to be a challenge like no other.
While visiting the Cuyahoga County Kennel in Ohio, a local rescue shelter, they came across an unlucky-looking dog by the name of Storie. And she did not look well; her stomach was distended, and her eyes were teary.
They knew what they had to do – namely, to not let this dog languish in the shelter. So Chris and Mariesa agreed to foster Storie, not at all fazed that she could end up giving them a lot more work. Indeed, they practically had their plates full already with other foster pets.
But still, they took her to a vet to find out what was happening. And the vet could see right away what the issue was. Storie would certainly need some TLC, and thankfully, Chris and Mariesa were ready to provide it.
And once they saw the X-ray, the couple understood the challenge ahead of them. For huddled inside of their new charge were 12 little pups. Storie was, in fact, due to give birth anytime.
Instead of fostering just one more pooch, then, the couple were soon going to be taking care of 13. And, not surprisingly, this revelation was cause for concern. “Is there any way we can make this work?” Chris recalled asking himself during a 2013 interview with HooplaHa.
Even Mariesa, who was perhaps more passionate about helping rescue dogs, was unsure about what to do next. “We fight sometimes, when I’m like, ‘we’re supposed to be dog rescuers, why aren’t we rescuing?’ And then we end up with 12 puppies. And I’m like, ‘Why did you say that, Mariesa?’”
Still, the couple took pregnant Storie home and prepared a bed for her. “We have a kennel outside, which was perfect. Set her up, brought the bed out. We were prepared for a couple days [in which] to get to know her,” Mariesa said.
“Then she went into labor that night,” Mariesa explained. It seemed, then, that they had gotten Storie a proper bed just in the nick of time. “[She] started having the puppies the next day, 18 hours after we took her out of the shelter.”
Despite the surprise of having a dozen new mouths to feed, Chris was confident that they had made the right choice in bringing Storie home. “Dogs having puppies at shelters, it’s not the best thing for them,” he said. “It’s stressful for her, stressful for the puppies.”
The little puppies themselves were, of course, adorable. And the video about Storie’s amazing journey shows her young pups growing from newborns, not even able to open their eyes, to gallivanting mischief-makers.
Chris and Mariesa described the experience of watching the pups grow glowingly. “Their ears at first were all cauliflower ears. Now, when you turn the light on, they all wake up and bark,” Mariesa said. “And bite!” Chris added.
Their immediate concern after the puppies were born was finding homes for the litter. And despite the couple’s dogged devotion, they did not want to keep all of the puppies for themselves. Thankfully, though, others were ready and waiting to adopt.
“There’s tons of applications in on them,” Chris said. However, the couple were tempted to keep a couple. “I want to keep Sasha” Chris said of a puppy he liked. And Mariesa wanted to keep the one they had named Skip. “We might have two more dogs, but that would put us at ten, and I believe that’s hoarding,” Chris joked.
Still, they did have concerns about finding homes for the puppies after having so lovingly helped bring them into this world. “I just hope that they all get good ones and have happy lives,” Mariesa said, with a touch of apprehension in her voice. “I know they’ll get great homes” Chris responded, reassuringly.
Since then, the couple have managed to find homes for all the puppies with the help of rescue center Pibbles and More Animal Rescue. And, of course, the new owners are all providing the pups with love and attention.
Storie’s own story, fortunately, also has a happy ending. Chris and Mariesa decided to give her away to one of Chris’ friends, Ryan, and so she’s always close by for visits.
Even with this adventure over, the two are not any less enthusiastic about their mission to find better homes for rescue dogs. Indeed, they claim it forms the bedrock of their relationship. “This gives our relationship so much more depth and meaning,” Mariesa said.
“To share, with someone, something you’re so passionate about, it’s so rare, and so incredible,” she added. She concluded by saying that what they give, they receive in turn. “We need the dogs,” she explained.
Although their efforts sound both difficult and incredibly enriching, certainly their love for dogs is appreciated. For sure, they gave Storie everything she needed just at the right time. And now she and her pups are all in good hands.