Indy delivered 7 healthy puppies in North Ridgeville, Ohio Saturday. Although she was slow to recover after her cesarean section the doctor cleared her to return home with her new puppies. Only minutes after arriving home, Indy stopped breathing. Efforts to resuscitate her had failed and just like that, our beautiful 3 year old girl was gone. Pumping her chest in the back of our speeding car, with the nearest veterinarian’s clinic still 8 minutes away, I reluctantly asked Katie to stop and take us back home.

Watch These Puppies Grow on Our Facebook Page!

No matter the stress and sadness inflicted on us by this tragedy, my wife Katie and I had 7 newborn Bulldog puppies to care for and they weren’t going to wait for us to cycle through the grieving process. The task of raising a litter of Bulldogs is a tough one even when the mother is present. In this case our puppies were orphaned. They would need to be hand fed every 2 hrs, 24/7. It became ever-clear to us just how much a newborn puppy depends on it’s Mother.

tube-feeding-bulldog-puppyOn the kitchen table, next to our basket full of now hungry and crying puppies, were bags of newborn puppy bottles, plastic syringes and milk replacer Katie had rushed to the store to pickup. Yes, we had backup supplies for an emergency occasion, but not one like this! Besides, a Walmart bag filled with supplies could never replace a Mother’s touch.

Thankfully, Indy did feed the puppies 3 times before her untimely death. These 3 feedings provided the immune system boosting colostrum that is vital to newborn pups for survival.

A Grueling Task Ahead

To receive their meals for the next 4 weeks, the  puppies would have to adjust from their natural, God-given care taker to our man-made bottles and syringes. They would have to put aside their instinct to draw close to their warm Mother. For warmth the new puppies would cling to each other – and a Pet Safe brand heating pad.

After a full 24hrs the puppies were excelling at their only job – eating and growing. Suckling, they were consuming 5ml of milk per feeding and slowly mending our hurting hearts. Funny how new life can heal where death had previously left it’s sting.

After hearing what had happened the day before with Indy, my Mother and Sister called to ask what they could do to help us. I simply said, “come visit.” We needed someone to help us think happier thoughts. Maybe a hot coffee in hand and a discussion over these beautiful new babies would help.

My Mother suggested, “Why don’t you go on Facebook and ask someone if they had a dog with milk-a dog that could feed and care for the puppies?” Of course, that was a great idea, but who would have such a dog? We even considered the idea of possibly finding a cat that could fill the Mother’s role. No, that wouldn’t work. Not a chance actually, but it was well worth the laughs.

We Just Did a Photo Shoot With The Pups! Check It Out! 

It was around that time we received an unexpected message to our Facebook page,

“Hey guys I am terribly sorry to hear of your loss. I want to throw an idea your way, it may or may not help.

I have a lab that gave birth yesterday and she lost her pups. She is grieving and producing milk like crazy. If you’re interested it might be worth a try. If we can help let’s us know.”Macy Grubbs

At first, I thought, “It’s a Christmas Miracle!”

I pictured the whole scenario played out in my mind like a Hallmark movie. I couldn’t imagine better news!

Then I realized there was just no way we could do this. How could we take this person’s offer seriously? Besides, we didn’t know this man and certainly couldn’t trust a stranger in our home. You hear so many stories of entire litters of Bulldog puppies being stolen from their homes and I didn’t want to put my family in jeopardy.

I paced back and forth staring at the blinking lights fade in and out on our newly decorated Christmas tree. “It couldn’t hurt to just call him, right?” My wife didn’t seem as worried about this man’s proposal as I was.

Macy, Daniel , Amanda and Pixie

Macy, Daniel , Amanda and Pixie

So, I called, Macy. I told myself I would play the part of a detective to decipher whether he was legit.

Right away, I noticed Macy’s warm, southern accent. “He said he was from Kentucky, so that much checks out,” I thought. He also mentioned he and his friend, Amanda breed Labradors.

Those next few moments on the phone Macy of CDK Retreivers told me he had a story too. He and Amanda co-owned a Labrador, Pixie, who gave birth to puppies the same Saturday Indy did. Pixie and her puppies were attacked by another dog and her puppies were killed. Pixie and the families that cared for her were mourning down in Kentucky much in the same way we were here in Ohio. Macy’s story instantly filled me with a spirit of solidarity. We truly did share a common bond.

“I believe in fate”

That’s what Macy told me as he began to explain his reasoning. He knew that sometimes terrible things happen to families and we just can’t control that. Macy wanted to help – nothing more. He put himself, his friend, Amanda and their dog Pixie in a vulnerable position to place another family on a better path.

Macy, Amanda and Pixie drove to our home in Ohio the next morning.  They explained that Pixie wasn’t quite herself since her puppies died. She had been panting and grieving non-stop. We weren’t sure how to proceed with introducing the puppies to Pixie, but just as we’d hoped, she took to them in no time. It couldn’t have been 5 minutes before Pixie was laying on our living room floor feeding and cleaning her new babies!

As I write, it’s 8:41 pm on a cold Ohio’s night.

Pixie has been given her babies back!

And…

I have my Christmas Miracle!

See Live Video Updates on Pixie’s Bulldog Puppies!

labrador-adopts-bulldog-puppies

Pixie + Pups Day 1

Pixie + Pups Day 3

Pixie + Pups Day 3

Pixie + Dylan

Pixie + Dylan

Your Answer

79 Responses to Straight Out of a Hallmark Movie

  • Linda

    I can’t stop crying.  God bless all of you. Please keep me posted.

  • Sue

    This story is so uplifting. I’m deeply sorry you lost your dog. My dogs were barking at the sounds the puppies made! It’s amazing how kind people can be. Thank you for sharing!

  • Cheri Christensen

    Something that no one has mentioned – breeding dogs and selling them means that some homeless animal in a shelter may have lost his best chance for a home, and his/her life. Too many people justify buying a puppy from a breeder by saying that the puppy exists – it needs a home. But you may have just condemned some miserable female to churn out another litter for profit. These families sound responsible, and like responsible breeders – but there are too many puppy millers, too many backyard breeders ( they are actually the worst ) churning out puppies to make a profit. The Amish in Penn. are notorious for this. We need to shut down big operations so all dogs have a chance at finding a forever home, and petition our state legislatures to put these places out of business. Here in Nebraska puppy mills have to comply with the agriculture statutes – dogs are considered “livestock” and the standard of care is that for any other farm animal- such as hogs.

    • Dan Weese

      I see your point. I think we should direct our efforts towards those “big operations” you mentioned. We have maybe 1 litter a year. Many breeders list as many as 20 females they breed on their website. I also don’t think that families should be forced to clean up after less responsible people who mistreated their dogs. There are great dogs in the rescues and I’ve supported them, but not all families are eligible for a rescue either. In fact a few of the adopting families for this litter wanted to rescue but they couldn’t because of strict rules set up by those rescues such as no children under 8yrs or that the yard must be fenced in. Obviously our society has a lot of work to do on this area, but responsible families should be allowed to start with a new puppy if they desire. Good families are not responsible for all of the harm in the world. Despite how the saying goes, every dog bred does not mean a shelter dog dead.

      • Sue

        Dan you are so right. I have a mixture of rescued dogs and dogs bought from reputable breeders and they are all wonderful. Give an animal a loving home can never be wrong no matter where the puppy comes from!

    • Glenna morrison

      I would never buy a puppy from a puppy mill. But there is nothing wrong with breeding a litter for yourself.  Big difference between this and puppy mills. We are big believers in rescuing dogs. In total my family has rescued 7 huskies. Turned out to be wonderful pets. On the other hand it is sometimes risky if you have small children and do not know the dogs background. Rescuing dogs is great but Ivwould also buy a dog from a reptuable breeder. It is a joy to raise a dog from a puppy to adulthood.

    • Julie Blair

      Cheri Christensen you are 100% correct. I agree. Also breeding a bulldog is risky business.those big heads make it almost impossible to pass the pups. If the owner loved her so much why not spay her, not breed her and the would still have her. I wonder if it had anything to do with making a quick buck on the backs of dogs. I hope their Vet bills far exceed the money they will make selling the puppies.

    • julie knox

      Better idea…halt ALL breeding.  Seriously.  It is way easier to stop “good breeders” from producing litters (cats and dogs) than it ever will be to stamp out ignorant and vile backyard breeders….or just ignorant people who refuse to spay/neuter.  I am really tired of breeders defending their actions. Do we need more Bulldogs, Labradoodles, Corgi’s, St.Bernard’s…the list of NO goes on and on!  Many of these breeds do not have the “jobs” they once performed (or they are being “designer-bred”), and the “well they have papers” crap is stupid–so what?  This entire world is going to continue to be full of feral cats, and mixed-up breed dogs that no one wants–or, there are simply not enough homes for them all.  There will never be. ANd often, no one wants the mutts because they believe they MUST have a breed with a documented bloodline.  Who the hell cares?  Sadly, abuse and exploitation will continue way past our lifetimes.  I realize some of you may view my opinion as translating into a “police state” situation for breeders who do not want to comply.  But, those who “make a living” breeding animals are really no better than the puppy mills, and ignorant citizens–and others who continue to cause dogs to mate, and produce litters.  It takes one litter, and 10 puppies, then you need ten homes–AND people equipped and willing to raise a puppy!  Yeah, the world is just brimming with enough of those people!

  • Jessica

    This story has my heart exploding with love! What sadness turned into amazing joy. We have an almost 8 year old red and white bully named Maya. She was perking up and trying to find the babies while I watched the video from 1/4/17. We drove 19 hours round trip to get our girl, 16 hours to you if any of those pups will be needing a home!

    Blessings to all regardless!!!

    • Dan Weese

      Haha a lot of people have been telling me about their bulldog listening intently to the pups on video. So cute! Most of the families for these pups were picked out months and even years before Indy was bred. Otherwise it would have been nice to send a puppy your way. We’re very happy with all of these families and it’s exciting to know the puppies are going to exceptional homes.

  • Bill

    So sad for your loss, but so happy for the miracle named Pixie that came your way. As the owner of a spunky 3 year old bulldog named Oscar, I know the sheer joy that bulldogs bring to a family. Thanks to both families for sharing a story and most of all for the sheer selflessness and kindness! Best of luck!

  • Cindy Baird

    I’m so very sorry for your loss.
    I understand fur babies. I have 2 dogs. What a wonderful story. I’m so happy your stuation worked out. Thank you for sharing.

  • Summer

    I would love to see how he bullies are doing and how the adoptive mother is doing as well. This is a wonderful story, and I just can’t help but want a follow up with pictures of course!

    • Dan Weese

      Thanks, Summer. They’re just beginning to walk and play. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates. We do live videos quite often from there!

  • Stephanie

    Dear Dan,
    I am sorry for your loss. If any of the pups do not have homes. We are a premium home with ultimate care.
    Thank you

    • Dan Weese

      Thank you, Stephanie. It really does mean so much when kind people like you reach out to say a few kind words. All of the puppies have long been spoken for. If you ever need any advice while looking for a pup just message me.

  • Mitch

    Who would breed a dog when hundreds are killed daily for lack of a home..shameful

    • Kimber

      Mitch, I’m a huge animal lover, rescuer and activist…..but I believe also, people do have the right to purchase an animal of their preference. Because I believe something, doesn’t mean I have the right to push it down someone’s throat.
      Having said that, I believe not everyone should be breeding dogs. Breeding should ONLY be done for the betterment of the breed. None of this making new Chiweenie, chowdoodle, pugalug, etc. type animals. That’s backyard BS.
      So don’t pass judgement on people….that is what’s really shameful sir.

      • Maribel

        It is very obvious that you are breeding responsibly.  You don’t breed more than 1 or 2 litters a year and you are not a commercial breeder selling to a wholesaler.  This man needs to shut his pie hole and do his research.  His ire should be pointed appropriately at the puppy millers whose sole concern is making a profit.

        • Dan Weese

          You’re right, it’s obvious for most. There are so many worthy points to each side, but I’ll definitely be researching this topic in preparation for an article I hope will get the truth out there. I know though, no matter what, there will always be those folks that just don’t get it.

      • Nikki

        Im VERY sorry for your loss Dan….. KIMBER: I Couldn’t have said it better myself!! I am a rescue mom four times over, I keep my pets for life….and I’m also a breeder. It’s not shameful, not at all….as long as it’s not a puppy mill~~~😮

    • Carla

      You are a cruel idiot

    • Debra

      Agreed Mitch, I can’t stand breeders, but it’s still a sweet story.

    • Sedric

      If you had bothered to read the story you would not have embarrassed yourself by making such an uninformed, judgemental remark. All of these puppies were spoken for long before they were born.

    • Cindy hagen

      Mind your own business.  Don’t judge people.

    • Kathleen

      You sir, to put it mildly, are a real ass***e, I cannot believe you could slam these people after what they have been through, I used to breed chihuahuas and I quit because of too many homeless dogs but I don’t have a problem with responsible breeders like these folks. Get over yourself and learn compassion and understanding for others or learn how to shut up.

    • Katie Roast

      I kind of agree with Mitch here, he’s quite right.  Why keep breeding when the world is full of unwanted dogs!!
      Also, Bulldogs in particular who seem not able to give birth naturally due to the shameful antics of humans disgusts me yet I doubt any of you have learned your lesson.
      Pups are lovely and I do hope they go on to lead long, non-breeding happy lives.
      Dogs should not be money making machines!

    • Glenna

      There is nothing wrong with buying a dog from a reputable breeder. Sometimes you want a puppy. Rescues are wonderful BUT you have to deal with the problems they have developed before you get them. Sometimes certain problems cannot be corrected. Each case is different. I have done both. Rsised one from a puppy and rescued another.

  • Susan Kahle

    Happy this ended with a true Holiday Miracle for both families and dogs.  As Pixies’s puppies as Pixie has hers.  I pray that puppies and Pixie somehow keep in touch.  Would be wonderful to see all of them together as they grow older.  I mourn your losses and wish only the best for all!!

  • Tony Merchen

    Awesome!!  What are the plans for the puppies?  How could I get one?

    • Dan Weese

      Well, actually, the puppies have all found homes.

      • Tina

        I hope Pixie gets to take one of the babies with her. This story is very up lifting, due to all u seem to see or hear on social media is harm, or shameful killing. Yes there is pets that need homes and if you all read this fully, they puppies r all spoken for before Indy delivered them. GOD IS GOOD. KEEP US POSTED PLEASE.

  • Cyndi Solis

    This story definitely pulled at my heart strings! Sorry to Indy and Pixie’s families on your loss, I too know that emptiness your heart feels when you lose a furbaby! My dogs are like my babies and I spoil them like crazy! This story was a great Christmas story and proves that there are still good people out there! Happy Holidays to everyone!! 🎄🎉

  • Sue

    A Christmas miracle for sure.

  • Jeanie

    This story is beatuiful.. I just wanted to tell you that our family feels your pain. We lost our beloved English bulldog Kane on Dec. 14th.. we loved him so much, he was spoiled. I love your story and would appreciate it if we could give one of these bullies a home. Please let me know.. thank you..  miracle story on both ends.

    • Dan Weese

      Thanks, Jeanie. It’s been helpful to talk with other people who gone through similar experiences. At this point, all of the puppies have been spoken for.  Let me know if you need any advice during your search for a bulldog puppy.

      • Tanya

        Sooo happy to see a happy ending for both morning dogs. Glad it all worked out. ❤
        Happy New Year! 🎊🎉

  • Karen

    Such a sad beginning for all of you, but a wonderful ending!!!  When one door closes, another opens.  I feel your loss as my Boston terrier, Todo, died right before Thanksgiving, I miss him terribly.  Please keep us all updated on pups and their foster mom.  And when your babies are ready for new homes, let me know.  I would absolutely love to give one a home!!!  God bless, Karen

  • Nancy

    Beautiful heartwarming story!!

  • Fran Tobias

    Crying….. tears of sadness overtaken by tears of joy 😇😭💕😭😗

  • Richard Hicks

    I was trying to read the story in Indianapolis Star to my girlfriend and had trouble wiping my eyes and choking up.It would make a good movie,very touching!

  • […] Then something happened — which Weese describes as “straight out of a Hallmark movie.” […]

  • […] “No matter the stress and sadness inflicted on us by this tragedy, my wife Katie and I had seven newborn bulldog puppies to care for, and they weren’t going to wait for us to cycle through the grieving process,” he later wrote on a blog post. […]

  • Hahnna

    Labradors are one of the most incredible breeds! I absolutely love all dogs! What a sweet story! Prayers to you all.

    • Dan Weese

      Very true. My wife’s family had Labradors when she was growing up and they even produced a few litters of puppies. We are so please Pixie is with us. Big Thanks to CDK Labradors of Kentucky!

      • Julie

        Will Pixie stay with your family or will she go back to Macy and Amanda?

        • Dan Weese

          She’ll be going back as soon as the puppies are weaned. Probably when the pups are about 4-5 weeks old. We’ll sure miss her, but Amanda and her family are anxious to have her back home.

          • Vikie

            Pups should actually stay with mom for 8 weeks.  Please consider this, as 4-5 weeks is too young!

          • Sara

            No puppy should leave its dam before 8 weeks and 4 weeks is much to young to ween a puppy.
            I was thinking what a loverly story and responsible people, positive breeders and then you post this comment.
            Now I just feel sad because a lot of people were wrong if you really practice weening and separation so young.
            In the U.K. It would not be allowed and all dogs have to be microchipped too.

          • Dan Weese

            Actually,we’ve always begun the process of weaning at 3-4 weeks. It doesn’t mean we permanently separate the pups from their Mother, but just that we slowly begin offering them kibble. In our experience the puppies are loaded with teeth by 5-6 weeks of age and they need to be eating real food otherwise they’ll put an unnecessary burden on the mother. We’ve seen dams get bitten all over by puppies and it is painful to the mom. I know you’re not concerned with calling me names or putting my character in question, you just care about these pups. Trust me, I wouldn’t do anything harmful to these puppies and over the last ten years we’ve had zero problems during the weaning process 🙂

          • Jennifer

            Dan, your explanation of the weaning process makes a lot of sense.  It is a process…and takes a few weeks.  Still, six weeks with Mom would be nice 🙂 I’m sure Amanda misses Pixie and new puppy families want their new family members, but I’ve always heard six weeks is earliest to go to new home.

          • Dan Weese

            Ya, she’ll be here until the 6 wk mark. Did I say earlier? She’ll be going home this Saturday.

  • Silverhawk Cooper

    I can only imagine that Indy is looking after Pixie’s babies in Happy Hunting Grounds (heaven). Now your bulldog puppies will have more than enough milk since Pixie is a big dog. Hope you continue to tell us your story. It is touching.

  • Cheryl Gantner

    This story brought me to tears and it truly is a Christmas Miracle. I’m so sorry to the family that lost their “INDY GIRL” and to Macy and Amanda. I can’t imagine the pain losing those precious puppies. I too lost my precious German Shepherd “INDY” about 1 1/2 years ago and miss her tremendously!! We called her “INDY GIRL” as well. God Bless these precious babies. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    • Dan Weese

      That’s really sweet you called your shepherd, “Indy Girl” as well. I’ve no doubt she was beautiful! Merry Christmas to you!

  • Marie

    Pixie looks so happy and content!  I hope Pixie stays for 8 weeks!  best thing for the puppies.

  • Karen Pease

    What a Christmas present and a truly wonderful blessing! May you have many more blessings.

  • Jennifer

    Oh no!  This just came across my facebook feed: I am so very sorry to hear about your Indy. Awful. Just awful.

    I’m glad Pixie came into your life; she looks like a happy and proud mama with her new pups. Will she stay with you a bit? I assume so…

    Thinking of you guys… loss is always so hard.

  • Ruth Maruschak

    This story really need to be made into a Hallmark movie for next Christmas!

  • Toni

    WOW😭😭I’m not familiar with your fb page, but will be as soon as I’m done typing this, lol. I’m a bully owner myself and am a member of many of the bulldog groups on fb. Your story has me sitting in my garage crying my eyes out…one, at the heartbreaking story of your Indy and Pixie’s pups and two, at the heartwarming story of Pixie mothering Indys pups and the wonderful people who reached out to you, in their time of grief, to try to help you in y’alls time of grief. I, too, believe in fate and this couldn’t have been anymore fateful. I love that Pixie’s heart is healing and that Indy’s puppies are being brought up with a loving, warm, and caring “step-mommy”. There’s no better ending to two tragic stories than this one! Congratulations on the babies, the mommy, and meeting new friends for life!
    Happy Holidays!!

    • Dan Weese

      New friends for life indeed 🙂 Thankyou for your kinds words, Toni!

  • Patti

    Have you started a blog so we can follow these pups until their adoption?

    • Dan Weese

      Great idea. I never considered that, but I will be updating everyone quite regularly on our facebook page beginning with a live video tomorrow.

  • Rick

    What a wonderful story. I’m so happy everything is working out for you and your family and the little furbabies. I follow your wesite and have even gotten advice from you while searching for a puppy for myself. Last Christmas I was blessed with getting a little bullie. He has been one of the best things I’ve ever received. A gift from my two children. And yes we have followed your advice. Thank you and bless you. Merry Christmas

  • Jamie

    We’ve been following Indy’s pregnancy, the devastating loss, and the miracle of life these little pups represent.  When I read your story this morning I cried – I mean ugly cried – and I have a lump in my throat as I type this.  The blessings each of you are showing for Pixie and Indy’s legacy is truly the work of people with beautiful souls.  I am so happy I get to be a part of it by following y’alls story.  Please keep us posted.

    • Dan Weese

      I’ve had that same lump in my throat each time I go through pictues of Indy, or walking by the spot on our living room floor she liked to lay. I’m blessed to be a part of this too and my family and I are very encouraged to know there are so many who understand and are concerned. Things are really looking up since Pixie’s arrival to our home yesterday. I know Indy would be so happy to see this. I’ll definitely keep everyone informed over the coming days and weeks.

  • Holly Wildt

    Oh Dan this story is so heart warming. Thank you for writing about this. I’m so proud to say our good ol’ Kentucky neighbors cake thru. No surprise though, Kentuckian people have huge southern hearts. I would love to send them something in the mail if they will share their address let me know. Love you guys and love the story. Merry Christmas! 🎁

  • Ali

    Absolutely beautiful story!

  • Betty Smithhart

    My heart is so over joyed for all of you.  Amanda is a friend, my stylist, and a beautiful person throughout.  What a beautiful Christmas Story!  Love to all!!

  • Angela Jacobs

    thank you Kentucky!!!

  • Kristan

    Thank you for sharing this amazing story. We have been thinking about you and the puppies all day and wondering how everything worked out. Brings a tear to my eye just reading it. Pixie looks so happy.

    • Dan Weese

      We’re still astonished at the generosity of these folks to go out of their way for us like they did. Just amazing. I appreciate your kind thoughts. There have been so many showing support and we are thankful for every single one. Such a touching story and bitter sweet. I have to believe Indy would be happy with it this way.

      • Carol hicks

        Years ago I had a small fox terrier that had a puppies, a co worker mentioned that her boxer had 4 puppies and 3 had already passed away, her vet told her the mothers milk was bad to stop letting puppies feed, so I said bring your puppies to my house and we will see if my fox terrier will accept it, she did and I kept the pup for 7 weeks, pup ended up bigger than my fox terrier, but she loved him just like he was hers

  • Barbara Zacur

    Miracles do happen!  There are still good people in this world!

  • Sally Crenshaw

    How wonderful…so happy for all.  Amanda is my beautician and friend and I know how the loss of the puppies hurt her…so glad she was able to connect Pixie with your puppies…helps all!

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!!

  • Cheryl Champine

    Omg I can’t stop crying.  I am so proud and thankful to Macy and Amanda and of course, pixie.  My heart is so full of love for you all.  We lost our beloved yellow Labrador last Halloween to cancer.  She was our pride and joy. We miss her still today but couldn’t get another puppy this spring because of neurosurgery that I had to have in March.  Coincidentally I am in love with bulldogs and have always wanted one but my husband wants another Labrador this coming spring!  I follow your website or facebook page because your bullies are beautiful. Also, my son rescued a bulldog from Kentucky eight years.  She was a mother in a puppy mill who was left at the vet to die after giving birth!  What you all have done and are doing is the best of what us dog lovers could ever imagine.  Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas and give the puppies kisses for me and hugs and kisses to their surrogate labbie make my pixie.  Xxoo

  • Brenda

    Awesome! What a miracle….thanks CDK Retrievers

  • Dan Weese

    Big Thanks to CDK Retrievers of Ketucky!

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