Have you ever seen a Chow Chow? They’re big fluffy dogs that come from China that kind of look like overgrown teddy bears. To some people, these dogs can even look like real bears. If you saw a baby Chow Chow alone on the street, you’d probably want to scoop it up and give it a loving home. That’s exactly what these people did— at least, that’s what they thought they did.
What actually happened was much, much different. Keep reading to find out where this family’s story went very wrong.
Is It A Dog Or…
If a dog grew to be three feet tall and 250 pounds in the span of two years, you’d be a little bit worried, right? I mean, I’ve seen a lot of big dogs in my day, but I’ve never seen a 250-pound dog.
The owners of this ginormous pup thought that growth rate was pretty suspicious too. It was time to do some investigating. They were about to get the shock of their lives.
Not Quite A Canine
So who are these owners we speak of? Well, Su Mou lives with her family in Kunming City, Yunnan, China.
While on vacation, Su and her family came across a stray dog. They examined the little pup and gathered that it must be a Tibetan Mastiff. Either that or a Chow Chow or some kind of combination of those two breeds. Su and her family had always wanted a pet.
A New Member Of The Family
Su’s family was so excited to welcome this gorgeous little puppy into their lives. They started brainstorming names for their new pet during the car ride and finally settled on “Little Black.”
They stopped at a pet store on the way home to get some supplies for Little Black, including a leash and some dog food. Little Black gobbled up all the food very quickly. Quickly, they realized they would need quite a lot of food for the little guy.
A Good Eater
Little Black was settling into his new home with Su and her family. He was eating well and seemed to have no problem adapting to domestic life.
Su’s family was enjoying Little Black’s puppy days, but they were also looking forward to seeing what Little Black would look like when he got older. They wondered if he’d look like a Tibetan Mastiff or if he’d look more like a Chow Chow. Even with his strange growing shape, Su just assumed he was a different type of dog.
Was He Growing Too Fast?
Little Black seemed to have an insatiable appetite. The more he ate, the more he grew, until he wasn’t a little dog anymore. The question is, was Little Black really ever a little dog?
Su was getting a little suspicious. Even a Tibetan Mastiff, one of the larger dog breeds, wouldn’t grow up this fast. One day, while walking by Little Black’s cage, she noticed that her pet was standing on his two hind legs…
One Year Later
Little Black kept eating, and a year later, he was more than triple the size he was when the family first found him. Su said that Little Black was eating “a box of fruits and two buckets of noodles every day” by the time he turned one.
Su always wanted a big dog, but Little Black was getting to be too big. He wasn’t so little anymore. Su thought they were going to have to change his name to Big Black.
Different From The Other Dogs
Little Black wasn’t just bigger than your average dog, he also seemed to have some features that most other dogs wouldn’t have. Su noticed that her pet had some rather large teeth that she found pretty frightening.
Su also noticed that Little Black was always standing up on his hind paws, which wasn’t something she’d seen other dogs do all that often. She was starting to think that there was something wrong with her pet.
Nope, That’s Not A Dog
Su and her family began to feel afraid of Little Black. This wasn’t the little puppy they brought back from vacation. This animal seemed to be dangerous. Whenever they saw Little Black standing on his hind legs and growling, they’d stay away from his cage.
Su started to think that Little Black might not be a dog at all. She was pretty sure that she had brought a black bear into her home.
So What’s Next?
So, Su finally realized that Little Black was a wild animal who could be dangerous. Su was frightened, so she called her local rescue team hoping that they might know what to do.
After that, she walked over to Little Black’s cage to feed him. She definitely didn’t want a hungry bear on her property. Maybe if he was full, he wouldn’t try to eat anything (or anyone) he shouldn’t.
A Sticky Situation
After Su made that phone call, the police of the Yiliang County Forest Public Security Bureau showed up at her front door.
When the police informed Su that it was illegal to domesticate wild animals, Su claimed that she had no idea that Little Black was a bear. She thought that she had been raising a dog for a long time. She had never seen a bear close up, so she wasn’t sure what they actually looked like (or so she said).
The Truth Comes Out
As soon as the police saw Little Black they knew that he was a full-grown Asiatic Black Bear. Su and her family looked really shocked to find out that they had been raising a wild animal this whole time.
Su told the police that she thought Little Black was just an overgrown Tibetan Mastiff. She told the police about everything she had been feeding Little Black and about how he liked to stand on his hind legs.
The Asiatic Black Bear
An Asiatic Black Bear is also known by the names Tibetan bear, Himalayan bear, or moon bear. This type of bear was typically found in some parts of Asia, which include several countries of Southeast Asia and the Himalayas.
Known for their massive image, Asiatic Black Bears are known for being omnivorous. It has a typical brownish or black glossy coat but it has one unique feature. It has a whitish line over its chest that looks like a crescent moon, especially when it stands up.
A Valuable Asset
Asiatic Black Bears are native to China and parts of Asia. It’s actually quite common for people in China to run “bear farms” because some bear internal organs are believed to be helpful in traditional Chinese medicine.
It’s been reported that 17,000 bears have been raised in almost 70 farms in China alone. Su could have come across a bear cub that had escaped from one of these farms and mistaken the cub for a puppy.
An Honest Mistake?
If you look at these photos side by side, it’s pretty easy to tell which is the dog and which is the bear. Su told the police that she was embarrassed about the mistake she had made— but was it really a mistake? Could Su have really raised a bear for two whole years without realizing what she was doing?
If you ask me, I think there’s something fishy going on here.
A Check Up For Little Black
The animal rescue team showed up at Su’s house and gave Little Black a quick checkup. After evaluating him, the team determined that Little Black was one meter tall. They also said that he weighed 200 kilograms.
They checked Little Black for any scars or lacerations and concluded that he was in good health. The animal rescue team tranquilized Little Black so that he could be transported safely. They loaded him into a truck and took him to the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center.
The Severity Of The Issue
Before the rescue team brought LIttle Black to the wildlife rescue center, they reminded Su about the illegal nature of owning a bear, or any wild animal for that matter.
It’s still unclear whether Su knew Little Black was a bear or not. It seems unlikely that she could raise a bear for two years without realizing it. Bear organs are worth a lot of money in China, and Su may have realized that she was in over her head when Little Black started getting bigger.
Truth Or Fiction?
It’s possible that Su called the wildlife rescue center because she didn’t want to get in trouble for owning a bear. She may have thought that by pretending she was unaware of the fact that Little Black was a bear, she could get off scot-free, and she wouldn’t have to deal with the bear anymore.
Then again, this isn’t the only time someone adopted a bear thinking it was a puppy. Su could be telling the truth.
Little Black’s Story Isn’t Unique
There have been other reported cases of people stumbling across, adopting, and raising bear cubs. Bear cubs can look pretty similar to puppies, especially to the untrained eye. Little Black’s story is not unique.
Hopefully, Little Black is now being properly taken care of. He can live out the rest of his life in a shelter with other rescued bears, and if he’s lucky, he may even get to return to the wild.
A similar case happened back in 2015 when a farmer accidentally adopted a black bear thinking that he was a puppy. He named the dog (AKA the bear) Scorpion. This farmer noticed that his “puppy” had a really big appetite.
Scorpion kept growing and eventually, the farmer realized that he was raising a bear and not a dog. The farmer still wanted to keep Scorpion, though, because he had formed a bond with the creature. Some neighbors ended up reporting the farmer to the authorities and Scorpion was removed from the farmer’s home.
It Happens A Lot
Also in 2015, a farmer from Lijiang rescued what he called a “small milk dog” while he was hiking in the mountains. He fell in love with the little creature and decided to bring it home.
The farmer fed his pet and even shared a bed with the creature until the dog got way bigger than a dog should ever be. The farmer realized that he had been sharing his home with a black bear and he quickly contacted the police.
This Family Got A Big Surprise When They Adopted A New Dog
Chris Hughes and
While this couple is normally able to adopt animals without a hitch, they ran into some trouble when they adopted a dog with a serious medical condition. Chris and
Meet Chris and Mariesa
Chris Hughes and Meriesa Caliguire work together to save dogs who have been abandoned or abused. Their shared passion for helping animals has brought them closer together as a couple. They got their first dog Moses early in their relationship, and since then, almost every aspect of their lives has revolved around caring for canines.
These two people are entirely dedicated to the animals they take in to their home.
One Big Happy Family
It started with one dog, a furry friend named Moses. One dog turned into two, two dogs turned into three, and by 2013, they’d adopted eight dogs in total. These dogs were all different ages, breeds, colors, and sizes. They kept Chris and Mariesa’s lives very interesting.
Chris and Mariesa started to think that they shouldn’t be keeping all of that fun and excitement to themselves. That’s when they got a brilliant idea.
Life In The Doghouse
Chris and Mariesa had so much fun watching their dogs learn, grow, and play that they thought other people should enjoy that too. They started their own online reality show called Life in the Doghouse.
It took a few years, but eventually, their YouTube channel gained a loyal following. People would subscribe to the channel to keep up with all of the chaos in this house full of dogs.
Another Addition To The Family
Mariesa and Chris definitely had their hands full with a whole household of dogs, but they weren’t quite ready to say that their family was complete yet. They talked regualrly about bringing another dog into their home. They knew that there were so many dogs out there in the world who needed homes, and their home had turned into a dog’s paradise.
They decided that they should expand their family.
So Many Dogs To Choose From
Chris and Mariesa got to work researching different kennels and looking into the dogs that were available for adoption. In the fall of 2013, the couple drove over the Cuyahoga County Kennel where they saw literally hundreds of sad puppy dog faces.
Mariesa wanted to take home each and every one of the dogs, but she knew that realistically, they only had room in their home for one more animal.
There’s something special that happens when you see “your dog” among all of the other dogs in an animal shelter. Of course you want to take all of them home, but when you see “your dog,” the thought of leaving the shelter without them becomes unbareable.
As soon as Chris and Mariesa saw Storie, they knew she was theirs. The three of them shared an instant connection— but there was something different about Storie.
Seven Dogs In One
After taking one look at Storie’s enormous, swollen belly, Chris and Mariesa knew that she was pregnant. The staff at the shelter told the couple that Storie was expecting six puppies any day now. The staff members said that she thought Storie was actually overdue.
The puppies should have arrived already, but for some reason, it was taking them a while to decide that they were ready to come out.
A Tough Decision
Mariesa and Chris didn’t know what to do. They really wanted to help Storie, and it didn’t feel right to leave her at the shelter, but they already had so many dogs back home. They wondered if they’d be up to the challenge of taking care of six puppies as well as their mother.
Could they really handle this adorable pit bull who so desperately needed their help? What about her litter?
The Only Good Choice
Even though they knew it would be difficult, Mariesa and Chris just couldn’t leave the shelter without Storie. They decided to take a leap of faith and welcome Storie into their home.
Once they arrived home, they introduced Storie to her new brothers and sisters. All of the dogs were very excited and happy, but pretty soon Storie started showing signs that she wasn’t feeling well. She wasn’t as energetic as she should have been in that moment.
Could It Be The Puppies?
Chris and Mariesa thought that Storie might be feeling lethargic because of her pregnancy. Storie had been pregnant for a long time, and she was probably very uncomfortable. They remembered what the staff member at the shelter said about Storie possibly being overdue.
After doing some research, Chris and Mariesa learned that sometimes, in high-stress situations, dogs can refuse to give birth. They were worried that this was happening with Storie.
A Trip To The Vet
Mariesa and Chris treated Storie’s declining health as an emergency. They got in the car and rushed to the vet. Storie clearly wasn’t feeling well. She was whimpering in the back seat during the whole car ride. All of the other dogs watched Storie, Chris, and Mariesa drive away.
It looked like they were all worried about the fate of their new friend and her puppies. What was going to happen to them?
An Ultrasound For A Pregnant Pup
When the vet first saw Storie, he was seriously concerned. He thought that there might be something wrong with the puppies or with the pregnancy in general. The vet set up an ultrasound so he could take a look at what was going on inside Storie’s belly.
Chris and Mariesa hoped that the ultrasound would give them some answers. They hoped that the vet could help Storie give birth safely.
How Many Puppies?
What they saw on the ultrasound completely surprised everybody in that room. The staff member at the shelter had said that Storie was most likely pregnant with six puppies. When the vet looked at the ultrasound, he couldn’t believe what he said.
He could clearly make out not just six puppies — but 12 individual puppy bodies. Those puppies needed to come out soon or both Storie and the puppies could be at risk for some serious health complications.
What To Do Next
Mariesa and Chris thought that Storie might need a c-section, but the vet informed them that a surgery like that would be too dangerous. It was all up to Storie now. She had to deliver her puppies on her own.
Chris and Mariesa did everything they could to make Storie feel comfortable. They left her alone for the night and what they woke up to the next morning was unbelievable.
The Miracle Of Life
When Chris and Mariesa woke up in the morning, they saw that Storie had given birth to 12 beautiful puppies. It was almost as though Storie was holding on to her puppies until she knew that she was in a safe space.
Chris was so happy to see that Storie and her puppies were happy and healthy. Now Storie could get some well-deserved rest. Chris hugged Storie because she was so happy that she was okay.
Now that they knew Storie and the puppies were healthy, Chris and Mariesa got to work figuring out how they were going to handle 12 puppies and nine dogs. Now they had 21 dogs in their house, which was way more than they bargained for.
Even the most experienced dog owners and dog trainers would have trouble taking care of that many dogs. Chris and Mariesa were working around the clock to keep their home in order.
A Big Life Change
Chris and Mariesa realized that they were in over their heads. They knew that they couldn’t keep all 12 puppies. They worked hard to make sure that each of the 12 puppies could go to a loving home as soon as they were old enough to leave Storie.
Fortunately, the couple’s YouTube audience was quick to scoop up each and every one of the little dogs. That wasn’t the only change for Chris and Mariesa’s household.
A Home For Everyone
Chris’s best friend Ryan saw that Chris and Mariesa were overwhelmed with their nine dogs, plus he had developed a special bond with Storie. Ryan offered to adopt Storie so Chris and Mariesa could have a bit more space. The couple happily accepted and Storie made way to her new home.
They would still be able to see Storie any time the wanted, and they knew that she was in a good and loving home.
Finally Time To Relax
It had been a crazy few days. Chris and Mariesa were so busy dealing with Storie and her pups they barely had a minute to themselves. When things started to go back to normal— well, normal for Chris and Mariesa— the couple felt like they could finally sit down and relax.
But right when they were starting to relax, Chris asked Mariesa something that really threw her for a loop.
Wedding Bells And Wagging Tails
Chris asked Mariesa to marry him, and she very excitedly said yes. A few months later, they made their commitment official in front of all of their family and friends. Of course, they had their dogs at their wedding ceremony.
Their dogs are part of their family and they couldn’t get married without them. Maybe they’ll have a kid (or 12) of their own in the near future.