Ready to put your heart through the wringer? These photos show seven orphaned puppies as they cuddle with teddy bears and sleep next to their mum’s ashes.
Owner Donna Rennison, from Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, has documented her creative and adorable hand-rearing techniques, which include buying the pups heat pads, building them a feeding station and giving them teddies to cuddle.
No, it is YOU who is crying.
The pup’s mum, a beagle called Daisy, died after giving birth to the litter – made up of six boys and one girl – via emergency c-section earlier this year.
Donna, 45, said: ‘The loss of Daisy comes in waves, although the pups keep us on our toes, when I return home the house is not the same with her not there.
‘We keep her ashes close by and have even placed them with the puppies as they slept.’
‘I was sat close to Daisy stroking her head when she took a breath in but never breathed out,’ Donna said.
‘I knew instantly she had stopped breathing, I ran quickly upstairs and woke my Mam, she followed me back downstairs to Daisy and she started CPR while I rang the emergency number for the vets.
‘It was awful, she was non-responsive, we had tried for approximately 20 minutes to get her to breathe.
‘I was left in shock and completely heartbroken. Looking back we believed she died due to shock.’
Donna, who works for the emergency services, then resolved to care for the puppies herself with the help of her mother. She bought baby bottles and, after having to feed them every two to three hours, constructed a feeding station so they can eat at the same time.
She said ‘We could not rest though as we now had the pups to look after. We divided the pups up between us and to keep them warm, just like a newborn child, we kept them enclosed close to our skin and chest in our dressing gowns.
‘We already had formula puppy milk in and we continually fed them every two to three hours.
‘The days following we researched a lot on how to hand-rear the puppies from the internet. We purchased more bottles and bottle warmers, heat pads and anything else we needed.
‘Feeding the puppies was exactly just like feeding a newborn child, by winding them halfway and after their feed. My mother and I would take in turns to do the feeds throughout the day and night.
‘We had seen the idea of the feeding station on the internet when searching for ideas on how to speed up feeding times, as it would take nearly an hour or more to feed all seven pups.’
She added: ‘We never intended on keeping one of the puppies but have now decided on keeping one of the boys and have named him Buddy.’
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