When Penny the Chihuahua gave birth to a stillborn puppy, the caring canine was quickly thrust into a state of heartbreak and devastation that was difficult for even her owners, Dale Fulk and Jeffery Mullins, to bear witness to.
“She pretty much cried all night and needed to stay with somebody and you could see the tears, literally she had tears coming down her eyes,” Fulk told WHSV.
“To see her mourning, it was, it was really a mourning for her baby that wasn’t going to come back,” Mullins added.
Eager to do something to mend Penny’s broken heart, and give her something new to focus on, Fulk and Mullins spent the next morning on a mission to find Penny a new baby to care for. Finally the two men hit upon Harrisonburg, Virginia’s Cat’s Cradle [http://catscradleva.org/], a no-kill organization focused on fostering and adopting felines.
Though originally seeking a single puppy for Penny, Cat’s Cradle had a litter of five kittens who needed a heaping dose of TLC.
“So I thought, ‘Why not?” Stranger things have happened’,” said Mullins.
Upon arrival, Penny formed an instant bond with the litter, becoming completely inseparable from her new family – only leaving them to get water, snacks, or use the bathroom.
“It gave her what she was looking for; it was almost immediate that she turned around 100%,” said Mullins.
While the arrival of her foster fur-babies quickly pulled Penny out of her state of depression, her immediate move into mommy mode, especially given the species differences, was definitely not an everyday occurrence.
“It’s gratifying to see, because it shows that you know humans aren’t the only ones with compassion,” said Matt Chan of Cat’s Cradle. “Other animals have it. Dogs have it. Cats have it.”
In two months, the five kittens will be ready to move onto permanent homes. Until then, Penny is cherishing every minute with her adopted kittens, and teaching everyone involved a very important lesson: “There’s no boundaries on love,” said Mullins.