Amber the Golden Retriever has found a new favorite song in the holiday classic “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” because this darling girl has found her forever home just in time to celebrate the season.
Amber’s happily ever after with her new family almost wasn’t coming only after she’d walked a long and miserable road as a dog used by “backyard breeders.” But when she grew ill, her cruel masters threw her to the wind, leaving the four-year-old sweetheart to fend for herself and the eight puppies she carried.
Sick and Starving, But Still Strong for Her Unborn Pups
Found roaming in a field, Amber was sick, hugely pregnant, and scared. As Blue Cross for Pets in the UK reported, “She fled every time someone tried to help her until she had no energy or will left in her to run anymore.”
A dog walker finally caught up with Amber, taking her to a vet for the help she so needed. Emaciated save her ripe belly of puppies, the poor dog suffered not just from starvation but also sarcoptic mange. After Amber’s initial treatment with the vet, the Blue Cross Rehoming Centre, Burford welcomed her into their care. But seeing her state, Burford Centre Manager Hannah Wiltshire said, “We were so worried about her and her unborn puppies.”
“She was so thin. If you stroked her, all you could feel were bones,” said Hannah. “And her skin was so red and sore. She was bleeding from some spots where she had clearly just been biting and itching so much.”
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Huge Team of Help Leads to Happiness
Only a few days later, Amber’s labor began. But her stressed body struggled, and the puppies’ heart rates dropped. Luckily, an emergency C-section saw all eight puppies safely born. And though her own body was fighting to heal from the mange and starvation, Amber was all in for her puppies, Theodore, Cider, Dougal, Kasper, Winnie, Holly, Sasha, and Bailey.
“Amber didn’t reject any of the puppies, which was amazing, as that’s a big risk with C-sections, and she was so poorly that her body was probably saying: ‘I can’t do this.’”
“She was so stressed. Panting all the time and not sleeping. She was feeding her puppies and keeping them warm, but there was no way she could produce enough milk for them all.”
But her mother’s heart would not give up when her eight tiny pups needed her so much. And with a team of twenty-five Blue Cross staff and volunteers working in shifts at her side day and night, Amber and her puppy pack had the strongest support system any furry one could ask for.
We were seriously concerned about all of them,” shared Hannah. “There was a very real risk that all nine of them – mother and litter – wouldn’t make it.”
But under Blue Cross’s care, Amber and all eight puppies began to thrive, with the sweet mama dog learning to relax and even how to take a good snooze! Soon, all of Amber’s happy, fat, and healthy puppies found their forever homes. And Amber found a family that needed her as much as she needed them.
After losing their two senior Golden Retrievers, Henry and Stanley, the Griffith family struggled with grief. But Amber was the ray of sunshine they needed.
“We needed her, and she needed us. We focused on that,” shared dog mom Elly.
And though she suffered hardship, Elly says Amber loves being with her human brother and sister, Sophie, eight, and Laurence, six, and “she just loves people, and everybody she’s met – she’s so happy now.”
“She’s brought us happiness. It’s lovely, she’s the perfect family pet.”
The Griffiths adopted Cocker Spaniel, Crumble, not long after bringing Amber home, so now the two rescue dogs can enjoy holiday fun while staying safe and warm together this Christmas!
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Feature Image: www.bluecross.org.uk