LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– A unique bond was formed between a Henderson firefighter and a local dog owner after a boxer fell ill.

Rhonda Hesse already owned a senior boxer dog named Smalls, before taking in Minnie, another dog of the same breed.

“She was just the sweetest thing she was cuddly and squishy,” said Hesse.

Hesse took Minnie to the vet shortly after adopting her and discovered that she was pregnant with six puppies. And several weeks later, Minnie had to be taken back to the vet, but for an emergency Cesarean section.

All seemed well, and Minnie was adjusting to motherhood at home, however, three of her puppies soon died, and in the following days, Minnie started hemorrhaging and needed emergency assistance.

But, weighing over 80 pounds, Minnie was too heavy for Hesse to carry her car, so, she called the fire department to help.

“We are an all-emergency department and this wasn’t a human emergency but it truly was an emergency,” said Jason Law of the Henderson Fire Department. “I picked her up she kind of just flopped into my arms and I knew she was really sick.”

Minnie died before arriving at the animal hospital, leaving her puppies now without a mom. “I said goodbye and I came home and all of a sudden I have all these 3 puppies I had to take care of,” said Hesse.

Back at the fire station, Law wasn’t able to get Minnie or Hesse out of his mind.

“I called dispatch and said I need that callback number I need to contact her,” recalled Law. “I said I know this is weird and I’ve never done this before, I said I feel that connection with you, and if you need help my daughters can come over to help because we had an experience like this and we know how to feed puppies.”

But feeding puppies quickly turned into a desire to take one home. “That little girl has got me wrapped around her paw,” said Law.

As soon as Minnie’s puppies were old enough they were adopted by a vet tech and the Law family.
And although Hesse wasn’t planning on raising a puppy, she decided she needed to keep a part of Minnie in her home.