Plenty of people lost power when Winter Storm Uri wreaked havoc in Texas. Many fled to hotels, sought refuge at friends’ or family’s homes, or put on every layer they owned, started a fire and waited out the cold.
But on one of the coldest nights without power in San Antonio, Texas, a foster dog named Magnolia, Maggie for short, started giving birth.
Maggie, a shepherd mix of some sort, was found in Fredericksburg before being picked up and then fostered. Aubrey Morgan, the pup’s foster mom, had never fostered a pregnant dog before, but she was up for the challenge and began studying.
It was a good thing she did, too, because she would have to draw on that information when Maggie started whelping in less-than-ideal circumstances.
On Feb. 15, Maggie went into labor. The Morgans, who have two children of their own, had lost power in their home. The outside temperature was just 1 degree, and it was steadily growing colder inside.
“I had read so many resources, watched so many whelping YouTube videos, and collected hundreds of dollars worth of whelping and emergency supplies to have on hand,” the foster mom told The Dodo.
“One thing I had read was the importance of puppies staying warm after being born. If they aren’t warm, they can’t digest food and will start fading.
“Our house was in the 50s and dropping (it was 1 degree outside that night). We moved her into our guest bathroom where we had the shower steaming to try and warm the room and my husband was boiling water to put into bags to also try and keep the room warm.”
They posted on Facebook, hoping that someone nearby might have a generator they could borrow.
“Our foster dog has been in labor all day, and we have no electricity!” she wrote. “It’s getting darker and colder, and we’re worried how we’ll keep the house/puppies warm once they’re born tonight.
“If you’re in the San Antonio area and happen to have a generator, we are DESPERATE.”
Shortly after midnight, the puppies started coming. Thankfully the family had been able to source a generator — but even that was proving no match for the cold seeping into the home.
They soon realized they would have to change tack or risk losing the puppies.
“After the fourth puppy was born, we realized, despite our efforts, the puppies were still too cold,” Morgan explained. “That’s when my husband started preparing the car for Maggie and the puppies.
“Maggie had her last three puppies in the car. We first got them into the car around 2 am and stayed in there for about 12 hours.”
Mother and pups were doing well, but living in a running car wasn’t going to work for much longer. So they packed up and made their way to Morgan’s parents’ house — 45 minutes away — since they still had power.
“We didn’t want to drive since roads were dangerous but eventually decided it was our best option,” Morgan said.
They stayed with Morgan’s parents until Feb. 19. Maggie and her pups — Ash, Aster, Clover, Dahlia, Daisy, Poppy and Rosie — are doing well, thanks to the life-saving decision to move to the heated car.
It’s been an exciting ride, for sure, and Morgan will have the mom and babies until April, when they’ll go to new homes. With all the press the story has received, Morgan is certain the puppies will get snapped up — but she has a special place in her heart for Maggie and wants to make sure she gets a loving home as well.
“Maggie is so gentle,” Morgan told The Dodo. “She’s extremely nurturing, not only to her puppies, but also to my 2 year old and 9 month old … It’s been amazing watching her become a mom. She’s a total natural with her puppies.”
“Our best guess is that Maggie is a German shepherd/lab mix,” she posted on Facebook. “We’ve had her almost five weeks, and she’s been a joy to have.
“She gives sweet kisses to Heidi and Christian, loves belly rubs and treats, and is so content to just spend time with us.”
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