When a stranger spotted a dog near a grave covered in blue roses, she had to stop her car. There was something about the animal’s sadness that touched her heart. And when she learned of the canine’s tragic story, she understood just why it seemed so mournful.
That stranger was Alice Gill, who is nothing short of a committed animal lover. In 2015, in fact, she was even helping animals live better lives through her work with Southern Pup Rescue & Retreat. One particular encounter with a helpless dog, though, made a big impression on her – and it led her on an unexpected quest to boot.
On one day towards the end of 2015, Gill was on a country highway when she noticed a seemingly unaccompanied dog. Distressingly, the white shepherd mix was abnormally thin and, to survive, had been searching for food around a graveyard.
But as luck would have it, Gill had food to give the poor pooch, and she used this to encourage the animal to come closer. When the dog stepped nearer to Gill, though, she realized that she was hiding a secret.
Specifically, Gill could see that the dog had recently given birth, as it was clear to her that she was producing milk. However, her babies were nowhere to be seen. And given that the animal was covered in fleas and ticks, it was also likely that she had seen better days.
Naturally, Gill had no idea how long the dog had been roaming stray, apparently neglected and in need of care. What was more apparent, though, was that she was somewhat wary of the approaching human. Indeed, in a video taken by Gill of her discovery, the dog seems skittish at first when her rescuer approaches.
But, in the process, Gill knew that she couldn’t leave the canine abandoned to an uncertain fate. So, the animal lover hatched a plan, all the while aware that she couldn’t take the dog without finding her babies first. Without their mom, they would most likely die.
Firstly, then, Gill raced home to pick up all the medication she could get her hands on to deal with the parasites distressing the animal. Fortunately, when she returned, she found the dog was still in the graveyard – and, with time, she grew more accepting of the human interloper.
And once she’d fed the dog and given her medication to sort out her ticks and fleas, Gill put into action her quest to find out more about her. So she went to a neighboring house and knocked on the door. The homeowner, Carl, then answered, and Gill proceeded to ask him about the white dog.
That’s how Gill came to learn about the dog’s heartbreaking journey. According to Carl, her owner had died around a month beforehand – shortly before the pooch had given birth. And, ever since, the animal had visited a pile of blue roses on her human’s grave.
“She spent her days at her grave, going back and forth caring for her puppies,” Gill explained on Facebook in 2015. “No one knew where the babies were, but [Carl] directed me to the home of the deceased companion in search of her nephew who had apparently been feeding her when able.”
So Gill went in search of the nephew of the dog’s late owner. And sure enough, after traveling just a mile, she located his home. Unfortunately, though, she met a dead end in her inquiries when no one answered the door.
As a result, Gill went back to Carl to see if he would pass on her contact details. However, in a kind gesture, he instead said that he would drive around the neighborhood with her in search of the nephew. So, once again, she pulled up outside the dog’s former home, this time with Carl in tow.
This time, instead of knocking, Carl told her to toot her horn – after she did so, the nephew duly appeared. Upon questioning, he revealed that had no idea where the dog’s puppies were, though he did allow Gill to look over the plot in a bid to find them.
As Gill drove Carl home, though, the puppies were still missing. And it was only on the route back that they spotted the dog heading towards her den. This, they realized, was their opportunity to find the puppies and bring them and their mom to safety.
But before the two began to follow the dog, Gill turned to Carl and asked him to join her in a prayer. “And so, two strangers, far removed in every way, closed our eyes together and asked for God to lead us to help this family in honor of Ms. Carey, who had passed,” she would later reveal on Facebook.
After that, the pair slowly tracked the animal dog to her hiding place. In turn, she led them to an old shed from which three tiny puppies emerged. They were all hungry and cried out to their mom to be fed.
Amazingly, Gill had checked the shed for the puppies earlier but found nothing. “She had taught her babies well,” she said on Facebook. “But once mom was home, three little girls came out of the woodworks, all cries of hunger and pleasure.”
And now that she had located them all, Gill could finally bring the dogs to safety. So, she took the mom and her puppies into her care. Once there, moreover, she named the mother dog Mama Angel. Her three puppies, on the other hand, were dubbed Farrah, Kate and Jaclyn.
The happy resolution to the story didn’t end there, however, as Gill later found the dogs loving forever homes. Hopefully, then, none of them will ever know hunger again.