Last week, The Jackson Sun reported on the story of Azzurra Diamante, the English Bulldog who was found in Chester County after disappearing five years ago in New York.
This week, the dog's owner has an unexpected dog to deal with on the trip home.
Azzurra, who was picked up by Henderson resident Abbie Bayless in October 2021 and then handed over to the Henderson Animal Control, was found to have a microchip that traced her all the way back to Jen Costa in Nassau County, New York.
Costa was understandably elated to be reunited with her long-lost dog, but was even more elated when Azzurra unexpectedly gave birth to a puppy in the backseat of her car.
“I’ve never been through this,” she laughed. “I didn’t know I had a pregnant dog!”
After picking Azzurra up from Henderson Animal Control, Costa had a veterinarian appointment scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 25, so she “had a few days with nothing to do” and decided to explore the region.
“So I went out of town for the night Monday,” she said.
Prior to picking up Azzurra, shelter workers were unaware that the dog was pregnant at the time—and although Costa noticed some weight gain, workers gave her a clean bill of health, and the duo went on their way.
“Nobody knew she was pregnant!” Costa said. “I guess she didn’t look big because she only had one puppy.”
Azzurra began acting strangely Monday night, according to Costa.
“She was panting so loudly—I couldn’t even sleep it was so loud,” she said. “She was really restless, jumping up and down off the bed. I didn’t know what was going on.”
Later, Costa noticed a wet patch on the bed and assumed Azzurra had urinated in the bed, although the dog had never done such a thing before. Then, she noticed the blood.
“I was like ‘What the heck?’” she said.
Costa contacted the vet immediately, who advised that Azzurra might be in labor, or have an infection, and that Costa should bring her in the morning.
“Again, I’ve never been through this, so I took their advice,” Costa said.
Azzurra, it seemed, had other plans.
“I stopped to take a nap on the drive, and when I woke up, I went to let her out to go to the bathroom,” Costa said. “And that’s when I noticed she was licking something.”
In the darkness of the car, Costa reached towards whatever Azzurra was holding.
“I reached my hand in to see what it was—and the lights were off so I couldn’t see anything—and when I touched it, it was wet and moving!” Costa said. “So I screamed!”
Upon a second—and much calmer—glance, Costa realized it was a puppy.
“I was like ‘You have to be kidding me!’” she laughed.
The most surprising aspect of this whole thing for Costa, besides having an unexpected new member of the family, is that the puppy looks exactly like her previous dog, Bruno, who passed away in August and was Azzurra’s older brother.
“The puppy looks just like Bruno!” Costa said. “It’s wild.”
Fittingly, Costa has named the puppy "Miracle." And for Costa, the miracles feel unreal at times.
“I’m excited and still in shock,” she said. “Like I keep saying, God must have a sense of humor. I know he’s not putting more on my plate than I can handle. I know this is a blessing from God. It’s like I got Bruno back again, in a way. It doesn’t seem real—I feel like I’m living in a movie.”
“I know God will open a door when the time is right,” she said. “I’m thankful everyone is taking journey with me. After all I’ve been through, it’s nice to have a happy ending.”
Have a story to tell? Reach Angele Latham by email at email@example.com, by phone at 731-343-5212, or follow her on Twitter at @angele_latham.
This article originally appeared on Jackson Sun: Tennessee stray dog reunited with New York owner has surprise puppy