Support A Love Story: Abandoned Dog & Her 9 Pups

My amazing friend Stephanie had been out traveling and driving through the States for a year and a half, fulfilling a dream of exploring all 50 states to visit friends, house sit and hike through all of the National Parks. It had been a journey of freedom for her, made possible by her minimalistic lifestyle and ingenuity. With freedom and curiosity as her compass, she had chosen not to settle down but instead travel. That was until one day towards the end of her travels, while filling up her car at a gas station in Arizona, she found love in a mix-breed beauty. Below is their story, told in Stephanie’s own words upon her return home to Connecticut. It is a story of how love can inspire you if you have the courage to believe in it, choose it, and rethink your path to make room for it. 

“My final 2 weeks of travel have been wild. On October 16th, I saw this beautiful pup (now named Sophie) get abandoned right in front of me at a gas station on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. I saw her owner feeding her on the side of the lot, and when I looked back, she was driving away. Sophie and I locked eyes, and in that moment, we both knew she just got dumped.

She came over to me right away, low crouching and timid. I pet her gently as my gas finished pumping. She went to every gas pump looking for her owner. She was confused, frantic and scared. It was heartbreaking.

So, with my passenger seat empty, I told her she was coming with me. I figured we would hang for the night and stay out of the rain until I could get her somewhere safe. After seeing her belly in my car, I figured she was pregnant. I took her to the vet the next morning for a check up and an ultrasound, which showed 6 puppies rolling around in there with 2-3 weeks until delivery.

We had a moment at the vet and later that day at the Grand Canyon, when I realized she already saw me as her new human. That night I thought of all the reasons I "couldn't" have a dog. I didn’t even think about wanting one until later in life. Then, in a split second, we looked at each other and all of that disappeared. I knew she was meant to be in my life, and I in hers, and we would figure it out together. And I also knew I had an amazing tribe in CT who would either want, or help find amazing homes for her babies.

So I decided to keep her. She was my forever dog, and I was her forever human. Fast forward thru some initial stinky farts, a tick/flea bath, some good food, beautiful hikes, some cancelled plans to get her back home sooner, puppy aromatherapy, lots of car naps, and 3,600 miles from CA to CT in 7 days, we have NINE PUPPIES..
She went into stage 1 labor the morning of 10/31, my last day of driving. What divine, aligned timing. We had a 7-hour car ride before getting home.. we almost made it. With 14 minutes to go, we delivered her first, and then second puppy, in the car. The rest held out to be delivered at her new home.

From 4:30 to 10:30 p.m., this goddess dog mama birthed 9, lively little Halloween goblins. She's been an awesome mum and I am a mix of blessed, exhausted, and amazed. The birthing process was magical, they're all strong and fighting for nipple time, and we are all in rest mode. I've been sleeping in the kiddie pool with them so Sophie remains as stress-free as possible. She's getting better with me leaving her side, and trusting that I'll be back.

Sophie and I chose each other, without a doubt. I don't view her as abandoned anymore, because I know she was gifted to me. She’s one of my soul mates. I sleep better with her by my side, she elevates the joy in my life, and I know we have an abundance of beautiful moments ahead of us.”

Sahra: Now, as you might imagine, my friend Stephanie is faced with the unexpected transition from a solo lifestyle to one where she can provide a good life for Sophie and her babies. Stephanie knew it would be tough handling all the veterinary bills, feeding a very hungry lactating mum and later the nine puppies. Despite the struggle, she was courageous enough to choose this path, and is determined to make everything work for her new family.

Stephanie is selflessly pouring her time and energy to make sure the puppies stay warm, have clean bedding, comforting Sophie when feeding seems more difficult, supplemental bottle feeding, and ensuring these puppies find amazing homes. She mentioned about 5 hours a day now goes into caring for the pups, not including the research and communication with future owners, making it more difficult for Stephanie to put her time into her work/clients. I see her becoming exhausted. She loving jokes saying she's become "a full time mum."

If your heart is warmed by their beautiful story, please help take some of the stress off of Stephanie’s plate by contributing to this campaign. She is so incredibly deserving of support. Please help me honor her enormous heart and courage.

To absorb the cuteness, you can view more photos here: 

Love conquers all! … but sometimes it needs a hand, and everyone could use support at times throughout their life.

Donations (0)

  • Dell & Lesley Harrison 
    • $10 
    • 10 mos
  • Sara Paige 
    • $10 
    • 10 mos
  • Chrissy Toti 
    • $20 
    • 10 mos
  • Karen Laski 
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Bonnie Bernice 
    • $25 
    • 10 mos


Sahra Svensson 
Hamden, CT
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more