When we got the call from one of our rescue partners in the Central Valley, we were told the mama dog had six puppies, all just under a week old. “She’s blind and deaf,” they said. “Can you take her?”
We rushed to take her and her puppies in Despite not being able to hear or see us, she was wiggly and friendly as she was unloaded off our transport van. Our staff fell in love instantly with her sweet, trusting nature. She was patient and leaned into our medical team during her medical exam. During the exam, Dr. Campbell noted that she had no reaction to sound and found that she had small, underdeveloped eyes. Her vision was very limited, but she had some reaction to light.
Her puppies were all healthy and chunky thanks to their amazing mama. Dr. Campbell recommended the mama and puppies go to a foster home while the puppies continued to grow, and so both mom and puppies’ sight and hearing could be monitored.
Our medical team stayed in close touch with mama and her pups over the next few weeks. Mama was named Gooey Marshmellow and her puppies were given equally delicious dessert names: Rice Puddin, Chunky Tofu, Vanilla Swirl, Wonder Bread, Angel Food Cake, and Coconut Cream. The puppies were growing perfectly and showed no signs of having the same issues with their hearing and sight as their mama. Gooey was learning quickly how to get around despite her limited sight – after a few days, she figured out the landscape of her foster home and got around fairly easily on her own.
For the next few weeks, Gooey’s puppies continued to grow and get more wrinkly and adorable as the weeks went on. Finally, they were big and strong enough to find homes of their own, and were brought back to start meeting potential families.
The puppies were a huge hit on our adoption floor. While they didn’t share their mama’s vision and hearing abnormalities, they did share her sweet, friendly personality, and everyone wanted to meet the Mini Marshmellows, as they were nicknamed.
With their wrinkly faces and snuggly demeanor, all six of the Mini Marshmellows found their new homes quickly.
Next, it was Gooey’s turn. Once she was found to be medically healthy and spayed, it was time to start looking for her perfect home. In her foster home and in her first few days back at the shelter, she was sometimes uncomfortable and uneasy around other dogs. Our Behavior team hoped they could help her become more comfortable with dogs, so they created a plan.
They began pairing her for playdates with confident, polite dogs who could show her that other dogs could be fun to be around. After just a few of these playdates, Gooey Marshmellow’s confidence soared. She started to play and seek out the company of other dogs. She was also a little awkward – without much sight or hearing, she didn’t always know exactly where the other dog was. But with the right matches, her awkwardness didn’t matter. It was amazing to watch the other dogs accept Gooey for who she was.
Finally, after Gooey spent weeks in our shelter looking for a new home, the perfect family finally came. They had another dog that Gooey did great with right away, thanks to all the work our Behavior team put in to help her become more comfortable with dogs.
Marshy, as her family now calls her, has been in her new home for months and her family has stayed in touch. They say she’s doing great – she’s spending tons of time exploring and going to the beach, hiking, and camping.
Thanks to the support of our incredible community – from the foster families that cared for Marshy and her special family, to donors who provided the support we needed to care for this incredible mama, all seven members of this unique family are now thriving. We are so grateful that we were able to be there for Marshy and her puppies when they needed us most. Thank you for helping us create a happy ending for the Marshmellow family!