For a man named Merson Mariano, seeing stray animals was nothing new. Little did he know one stray dog and a customer’s story was going to change his life. Bringing in a dog from the cold rain into the Hyundai dealership where he worked was about to become the best decision Mariano ever made.
Keep reading to find out why!
It Was A Typical Day For Merson Mariano
Going into work that morning, Merson Mariano was expecting much of the same. He could have had no idea that his career as a Hyundai dealership manager was about to change, all because of one little act of kindness.
It was all because he decided to take in a dog from the cold.
The Dog Was Cold And Hungry
That morning, Mariano went to work, not really expecting anything exciting to happen. To his surprise, a dog was waiting on the front doorstep when he got there. The dog looked cold, and its stomach was growling with hunger.
While a stray animal wasn’t uncommon for this area of Brazil, it couldn’t still be bad for business.
Mariano Was Used To The “‘Community Pets”
Mariano was a pet lover and was used the “community pets” around this neighborhood in Brazil. Even so, he didn’t want a stray dog deterring potential customers from coming into the dealership.
So, he did the only thing he could think of — he tried to shoo it away and, when that didn’t work, ignore it.
He Went On Ignoring The Dog
It was difficult for Mariano to ignore the hungry dog. But he’d already adopted two pets and didn’t have room for a third. He also knew that once he began feeding the dog, there would be no getting rid of it
So, he continued to ignore the big puppy dog eyes and went about his morning.
Mariano Was Beginning To Panic
The dog was not leaving. And Mariano became scared that it would scare away potential customers or even become aggressive. He was really at a loss and didn’t know what to do.
He figured that if he ignored the dog long enough, perhaps it would get the hint and look for food elsewhere.
Nope, The Dealership Was Now The Dog’s Home
The dog was relentless, though. Apparently, the steps of the dealership were its new spot, and he wasn’t going to leave. In fact, the only time the dog left was to search for food.
Once it was done with its hunt, the dog would come right back to the steps of the dealership, sit down, and start wagging its tail.
Mariano Gave In And Allowed The Dog Inside
Eventually, Mariano gave in to the dog’s adorable face and grumbling tummy, allowing it inside the dealership. His thought was to feed and house the dog for a few days and then send it on its way.
First things first, Mariano wanted to get the poor thing warm. He rushed to his car, checking his trunk to see if there was a blanket inside.
They Hoped He Wouldn’t Get Aggressive
Mariano was wrapping the dog in the blanket when other employees began to walk through the door. All of them were curious about the new, yet temporary, dealership dog.
And when a potential customer walked in with their dog, more than one of those employees held their breath, hoping the stray didn’t get aggressive.
They Became Fast Friends
To everyone’s amazement, the stray and the other dog became the best of friends! The stray even began following the salesman around the showroom as they were explaining the different cars to the customer.
It looked as though the stray was in training! In fact, the dog was behaving so well the customer even asked who the owner was.
The Customer Broke Down After Hearing The Dog Was A Stray
Mariano explained to the customer that the dog wasn’t anyone’s and was a stray that decided the dealership was its new home. To Mariano’s surprise, the customer broke down in tears, shaking his head and crying in the middle of the dealership.
After working there for seven years, Mariano had never experienced this type of customer reaction before.
The Customer Began His Story
That’s when the customer began explaining his story to Mariano. As it turned out, the customer’s mother had recently passed away, and after giving everything to charity, the only thing left was her car.
And on the way to the dealership, he was asking for a sign from his mother. For him, that sign was the stray.
The Stray Looked Like His Late Mother’s Dog
The customer explained to Mariano that the stray looked very similar to his mother, Rose’s dog. After his father passed away, the dog was his mother’s whole world. After being told he was mellow and didn’t bark a lot, Rose rescued him.
They loved each other for years, and the rescue even saved Rose from a horrible building fire.
It All Had To Do With The Tucson Prime
Rose and her rescue spent a loving eight years together, the customer explained. But that’s not where the story ends. While the stray in the dealership looked like his mother’s former dog, it was the fact that he was lying under a Tucson Prime that brought on his tears.
Mariano was confused as to why that brought on his tears. Then the customer brought him out to his car.
His Mother’s Dog Was Named Tucson
Going into the trunk of his car, the customer dug into one of the boxes he kept from his mother’s house. On a blue collar was a tag with the name “Tucson” etched into it.
Mariano couldn’t believe the coincidence. Not only did the two dogs have a striking similarity, but the name was that of one of the Hyundai cars!
Neither Mariano Nor The Customer Could Take The Dog
After seeing the collar and hearing the customer’s story, Mariano knew the stray was there for a reason. Unfortunately, neither he nor the customer could take the dog in. The customer already had three of his own!
Even so, Mariano knew something had to be done for the dog. And that’s when inspiration struck!
Mariano Got An Idea
Hyundai was a pet-friendly company. So, why not have the stray become the dealership’s mascot? All he had to do was get permission from his higher-ups and the stray would have a new home and people to dote on him.
Now, it was just a matter of writing an email and getting a “yes.”
The Higher-Ups Said Yes!
The higher-ups thought it was a great idea! Not only did Mariano get a yes, but they also sent over a check to get the dog some supplies and get checked out by a veterinarian. He’d been on the streets, after all.
Now, Mariano had to think of a name for the dealership’s new mascot.
He Was Named Tucson Prime
After hearing the customer’s story about Tucson, Mariano thought it was a sign that the new mascot’s name should be “Tucson Prime,” paying homage to the late dog and the company’s Tucson Prime car.
Mariano was over the moon. He even ran to his office to print out Tucson Prime’s very own employee badge.
Tucson Prime’s Social Media Presence Skyrocketed
Thanks to social media, namely Instagram, the news about Tucson Prime’s new employment at the Hyundai dealership went viral. People from all over followed Tucson Prime’s story and even sent in gifts for the new mascot.
People were even coming to the dealership for the sole purpose of meeting the pooch!
The Big Bosses Invited Tucson Prime For A Visit
Mariano couldn’t believe the type of publicity Tucson Prime brought the dealership. So much so that the dog actually got a huge invitation — to visit the Hyundai plants and meet the big bosses.
Mariano and the rest of the dealership employees couldn’t have been happier for the newest member of their team.
He Was A Celebrity!
To celebrate the big invitation, the dealership bought Tucson Prime a new leash and bowties. They wanted him to give a good impression! Of course, Mariano was the one to bring the pooch to the plant.
And, walking Tucson Prime around, he couldn’t have been more proud. Tucson Prime was a little celebrity!
Tucson Had Come A Long Way
The plant workers and even the big bosses were won over by Tucson Prime’s loving nature, running over to give him belly rubs, hugs, kisses, and all of the pets a dog could ask for.
He’d come a long way from sitting on the steps of the dealership begging for a little food.
Tucson Was Asked To Star In The New Hyundai Commercials
And Tucson Prime’s story doesn’t end there. While at the plant, the marketing team was so enthralled with the dog that they gave Mariano a ridiculous offer. They wanted to use Tucson Prime as the new face of their new set of nationwide commercials.
Mariano was speechless. Tucson Prime’s fame was about to hit a whole new level!
Mariano Couldn’t Believe What Happened
Getting back to the dealership, Tucson Prime went straight to bed, tuckered out from all of the activity at the plant. On the other hand, Mariano was wide awake and still trying to process everything that had just happened.
His dealership dog was about to be the face of the entire company!
An Act Of Kindness Changed Everything
Everything that had just happened to Mariano was because a group of people got together to give a street dog the life he deserved. They brought him in from the cold and gave him a home.
In return, Tucson Prime gave joy and brought smiles to people all over the world.
Meet Rosie, The Cute And Confused Mama
In October 2017, Rosie, a golden retriever mix, was disowned by her previous owners. She was left in a shelter visibly pregnant and close to birth. The shelter’s manager feared for her health and for the fact that she would give birth without proper assistance.
Although shelters have drastically lowered their euthanization policies, most are overcrowded with dogs and do not have the resources to care for a new litter. Rosie needed caring owners now more than ever.
The Rescuers Swoop In
The shelter’s manager called Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue, which helps dogs find homes in Raleigh, North Carolina. The rescuers had to work fast to get Rosie settled before childbirth.
Neuse River is an organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of golden retrievers. Volunteers foster stray or abandoned dogs until they are well enough to be adopted. Fortunately for Rosie, the organization’s members knew a couple who could care for her individual needs.
Help Is On The Way
A Neuse volunteer picked up Rosie from the shelter the morning after the call. By this time, Rosie appeared so close to birth that the volunteer worried she would go into labor on the drive to the Raleigh Vet Clinic.
The volunteer checked Rosie into the clinic, where vets determined that she was healthy. The rescuer’s next task was to find Rosie a foster family who could assist her birth.
John And Katie Black To The Rescue
Katie and John Black have fostered over 20 dogs since 2009, and owned three dogs of their own: Annie, Leroy, and Winchester. The volunteer knew that John and Katie had the experience necessary to foster both Rosie and her pups.
The couple had worked with Neuse River for years and excitedly took in Rosie. They brought her home on October 28, 2017, five days after Rosie was dropped off at the shelter.
Rosie Adjusted Well
The Blacks received Rosie just five days after she was dropped off at the shelter. “This is our new foster Rosie,” the Blacks reported on their Instagram, “who is very preggers and close to delivering her puppies.”
The couple revealed that Rosie seemed shy and scared, but was otherwise very sweet. When the time came, Katie and John Black helped Rosie successfully give birth. They met Rosie’s four healthy pups and a surprise that captivated the internet.
Rosie Gives Birth
John and Kate helped Rosie deliver her pups. Although it had its difficulties, both mother and puppies can out fine. All the puppies were the right size and weight for her breed…or what everyone assumed was Rosie’s breed.
The couple expected a large litter since Rosie appeared so big. Although average litters consist of five or six puppies, Rosie only gave birth to four. But that wasn’t the only surprise that hit the Blacks.
“Not Quite The Puppy Pile We Were Expecting”
“Our foster dog and Golden mix gave birth yesterday,” Katie said. “To baby cows.” The four pups looked nothing like their mother, and all had black spots. Although no one knows what breed the father was, he clearly wasn’t a Golden retriever.
The Blacks named the newborn pups Daisy, Clarabelle, Betsy, and Moo. The family photos not only received jokes online but also from the Blacks’ family. “My dad laughed for quite a while at the photos,” Katie told the Press Association in November 2017.
Cow Puppies’ Father Could Be…
Several dog breeds have white fur with black spots, so it’s hard to determine which breed the father was. Like Rosie, he could have been a mix. But that doesn’t stop internet users from speculating on which breed Rosie mated with.
Theories vary from a dalmatian, English setter, bluetick coonhound, and wetterhoun. However, only dalmatians have a true “spot” design. Every other fur pattern is “ticking,” which are small, isolated areas of tiny dots. So dalmatian is a likely choice.
Rosie’s Baby Cows
Katie said that her dad loved the mismatch so much that he recommended posting it online. He joked that the pictures would go viral, and Katie agreed to add photos to Reddit. Father Black was right–the new mom took the internet by storm.
In the picture, Rosie appears just as confused as the Reddit users. The image received over 90,000 upvotes and 1,600 comments asking about the new family. This attention skyrocketed when the Blacks posted on Instagram.
They Look Like Their Dad!
According to the Nest, puppies inherit certain traits depending on which genes the parents carry. Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute claims that “Dominant genes always outranks recessive ones,” which determines a dog’s appearance.
It’s safe to say that Rosie passed on recessive genes, and the father offered dominant genes. By chance, all of her puppies took on the physical traits of the father. The explanation makes the pair no less amusing, though.
The Internet Got A Kick Out Of It
Redditors flocked over the cow puppies and visibly astonished Golden Retriever mom. Users attempted to translate Rosie’s expression as best they could. “I believe there’s been a mixpup here,” one user quipped.
Other users claimed that she appeared like she was mentally defending her pups. According to one user, Rosie’s face said, “so what?!?! is that really such a big deal? are you sooo closed minded? really Karen?”
Kate Tells Her Story
Alongside the positive attention, some users were concerned that Kate and John had intentionally bred two foster rescues. Kate clarified that they had received Rosie already pregnant. “We weren’t going to abort her puppies,” she commented. “She will be spayed immediately when she can be.”
Since John and Kate already owned three rescue dogs, they intended to adopt Rosie as soon as she and her litter recovered. They wouldn’t have to wait long, but it did take some work.
But Rosie Wasn’t Doing So Well
Although the birth was successful, Rosie suffered some ill health. After the delivery, the Blacks realized that Rosie had an infection. They took her to the vet, who administered antibiotics for several weeks.
Rosie likely suffered from a bacterial infection in the uterus called Metritis, which happens after a rough birth. The symptoms could cause Rosie to reduce milk production and not be able to care for her puppies. Fortunately, she had Kate and John.
Kate And John Help Rosie Heal
While Rosie was recovering, the Blacks helped her by bottle feeding the pups. They were truly in love with each puppy, especially when they held them in their hands. Although they knew they couldn’t keep them, John and Kate cared for the pups as if they were their own.
Fortunately, Rosie healed in time. She eventually fed her puppies herself, and returned to being a happy, healthy mama. Her puppies also grew up with few complications.
Rosie Became A Good Mama
While social media users all pondered the strange relation, Rosie didn’t seem to mind one bit. She remained protective over her pups and cuddled beside them for weeks. Moo, Betsy, Daisy, and Clarabelle all grew up healthy.
“She is one proud mama,” explained Kate. According to Instagram, Rosie would go wherever her pups were. When Kate moved the puppies to clean sheets in a laundry basket, Rosie hopped in after them.
As It Turns Out, This Isn’t Uncommon
Pets4Homes authors reveal that puppies appearing different from their parents or littermates happens commonly among dogs, especially concerning mixed breeds. “When it comes to non-pedigree dogs…there is a lot more scope for variance, to the point that color and other manifestations of physical appearance can be quite variable within the same litter.”
What fascinates onlookers is that all of Rosie’s pups look like cows, and none of them even looked like dogs at first. As they grew up, they fit their form as dogs.
The Pups Are In Good Paws
Kate and John not only took great care of the puppies, but they kept the family’s biggest fans in the loop. They updated their Instagram page consistently to let everyone follow the cow puppies’ growth.
The puppies always hung around Rosie, often sleeping on her paws. The Blacks shared that Clarabelle showed her true colors early, being the loudest of the pups. As the mini-cows grew, their personalities shone through.
The Cows Grew Bigger In A Couple Of Weeks
By early December 2017, the pups celebrated their birthday of only a couple of weeks. Even by then, they developed individual personalities. On December 6th, Kate updated Instagram on the cow puppies.
“Daisy is a sweetheart, but a little anxious/shy/hesitant/fearful. Clarabelle is a hilarious, fearless spitfire. Moo is a snuggly baby that likes to be held, and cries when he wants attention. [Betsy is] the sweetest and most gentle puppy, I want to keep her!”
The Pups Part Ways
By the first week of January 2018, two different families adopted Betsy and Clarabelle. Although the Blacks felt sad to see them go, they ensured that each cow pup would receive the love and attention they deserved.
Daisy also got adopted, and her new family renamed her to Lily. Later, Moo gained a new home and a new name, Barkley. Moo, along with his new siblings Max, Mo, and Abby, all have their own Instagram account.
Rosie Must Say Goodbye To Her Pups
Rosie also entered a forever home. Once Rosie was well enough, John and Kate had her spayed. Although John and Kate will be sad to see Rosie leave, she will join a new family who won’t abandon her.
Once Rosie was well enough, John and Kate had her spayed. She can no longer have puppies, and may not see them again. But all dogs will be sent to a loving home.