Photos: Megan Walendzinski
Gorgeous mom-to-be Hazel just proved puppy showers are better than baby showers, and we are Here. For. It.
Chicago rescue One Tail at a Time’s fresh rescue Mama was positively glowing as she partied with all of her dog friends and human guests, popped that famous pittie smile as she posed for photos, and chowed down on fine artisanal Chicken McNuggets (it was a special occasion, after all). But she almost wasn’t so lucky.
Just days earlier, she was spotted on the streets by a police officer who brought her to a local animal hospital. They took her in even though they aren’t an intake facility or shelter so that they could keep her out of a kill facility–because frankly (make sure your dogs are out of the room for this part), she might not have made it out.
Once a vet tech discovered that she had several itty bitty puppy-shaped buns in the oven, she called trusty foster Fritzie Matias.
“I had no clue what to do with her, but I just couldn’t let her go to a kill facility and probably get put down,” she said. “She was super skinny, scared, and dirty when she arrived, so no idea what she went through.”
Longtime volunteer Fritzie immediately got in touch with executive director Heather Owen, who welcomed Hazel into the One Tail family with open arms (and a huuuuge party). “When I saw Hazel didn’t have a rescue behind her, I knew we had to help,” she said. “No dog belongs in a shelter, but especially not a pregnant mama.”
“We were happy to step in and be that rescue. She’s an awesome dog and deserves an awesome life.”
Just days after the shower, Hazel went into early labor. Her delivery was complicated (and expensive). After being rushed into emergency surgery, Hazel is now recovering well in her foster home. And her puppy, Oscar, is getting incredible care from a special bottle-feeding foster. His prognosis is guarded, but he sure is fighting! Oscar will be available for adoption as soon as he’s old enough. To support care for Hazel and her little one, make a donation to One Tail at a Time.
And although her puppy shower was super fun, remember: spayed and neutered is cuter. No dog should have to go through this. Check out and support affordable programs in your area–let’s all do our part to fight shelter overpupulation by reducing the number of unintended litters so this is the last dog baby shower ever (we can dream, right?).
Editor’s note 4/5/18: We just heard the heartbreaking news that the last of Hazel’s puppies passed away. On a more positive note, mama Hazel is getting incredible care in her foster home, where she’s finally getting a chance to be a carefree puppy herself. ♥