Almost one year after finding their forever homes, a group of puppies and their adopters come together for a special birthday celebration.
On a crisp fall day in 2018, a very pregnant border collie made the long journey to OHS from a shelter in Klamath Falls. Before she arrived, a plea went out for a foster home where she could have her puppies and care for them until they were ready for adoption. The border collie named Lani quickly captured the hearts OHS staff with her gentle demeanor and shy, but affectionate, personality.
It was a big ask for a foster parent; it looked like Lani would give birth to about 10 puppies. Caring for a mom and large litter requires a lot of hard work and patience. Carol Christensen had fostered many large litters of puppies and agreed to take Lani. But, it would be a few days until she was back from vacation and able to pick up Lani. Everyone hoped Lani’s puppies would wait until they got to Carol’s house, but that didn’t happen. One by one, Lani’s puppies were born a few days after she arrived at OHS.
When she was back in town, Carol picked up Lani and her 10 three-day-old puppies. It was the youngest group of puppies that Carol had ever cared for. Sadly, one of the puppies only survived a few days. While this can happen with large litters, it was still a heartbreaking loss.
Lani and her puppies were well-known among OHS staff and there was often a stream of visitors in the foster care office when Carol would bring them in for check-ups. Their story and incredible cuteness sparked an idea for Giving Tuesday. When the pups were close to five weeks old, they were part of one of the cutest video shoots that has ever taken place at OHS. They were co-stars in a video that highlighted the many reasons to support OHS.
As they grew, their personalities started to blossom. They were social, happy puppies and ready for adoption. But first, they were part of the OHS Snuggle Express. They visited local businesses that support OHS to spread joy and a few sloppy kisses during the holiday season.
Before the end of 2018, Lani and eight of her puppies would find their forever home. Maggie, the smallest puppy spent another 5 months with Carol, recovering from an intricate surgery to correct a deformity in her bladder. The sweetest and smallest of the crew needed a very special home as she would likely have some incontinence issues her whole life. The last to be adopted, Maggie found the perfect home with a wonderful couple who weren’t fazed by the idea of having Maggie wear doggie diapers when inside.
Although Lani and her puppies all went their separate ways, Carol kept in touch with all of the adopters and organized a border-collie birthday party when the puppies turned one-year-old.
Almost one year after Carol brought Lani and her puppies to her house, they returned to celebrate. The dogs raced around the backyard and enjoyed special treats while Carol and adopters mingled and shared stories. “It was wonderful watching them grow from little “spuds” into the beautiful and handsome dogs they are now,” says Carol. Maggie was still much smaller than her siblings, but her petite size didn’t prevent her from keeping up with her energetic brothers and sisters. Those who couldn’t make it to the gathering sent photos and birthday messages.
As the party began to wind down, Carol invited each dog picked out a special birthday toy out of a big basket. There were hugs and promises to keep in touch and set up playdates as the group departed.
“This special family of dogs has really created a community,” added Carol. “To see how loved they are in their new homes and the friendships that have developed really warms my heart.”