BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - When a border collie mix was found roaming the streets near Taft last week, the Watkins family could not help but notice her sickly figure.
"She was just starving and was skin and bones," Nikki Jo Watkins said.
They saw fear in her eyes as they coaxed her into their car to take her home and give her a much-needed meal. Nikki Jo named her Gypsy.
"She was hungry, she was starving and she ate and ate and she slept and looked very comfortable and happy," Watkins said.
But as the night grew on, she knew something wasn't right.
"She was on all four's and was just staring at me and I thought, 'She's missing something.'"
When Gypsy escaped the next morning, the Watkins had no idea that seven puppies were also missing. They scoured the area for Gypsy and her puppies.
"We got really quiet and it was so faint that we couldn't even have our jackets moving and it was just the faintest little whimper," Watkins said.
Sure enough, all seven dogs were found in a dirt hole with tumble weeds on top to keep them covered. Watkins bundled them in her jacket and put them in her car to be reunited with their mother.
"She lied down with them and let them start nursing and she put her head on my hand and took a deep breath and looked me in my eyes, almost like as a thank you."
The family said the puppies are about three weeks old and are looking to find a new home for them in a few weeks.