AUGUSTA — Hoot, Meta and Sierra were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration in a box left out in the sweltering Southern sun for days.

The three puppies were rescued and now have new homes with loving owners in Maine.

By chance, they also get to play with each on a regular basis.

The dogs, roughly 6-month-old Labrador and likely hound mixes, were part of a litter of seven taken in by a Tennessee dog rescue agency after they were discovered, at about 2 weeks old, left in a box with no shelter from the searing heat.

Since then, the three all ended up separately in Maine and at the K9 Cabin Dog Day Care, on Leighton Road in Augusta, where they now regularly romp and cuddle with each other while their owners are busy at work or in classes.

In Meta’s case, her tail-wagging reunion with her littermates some 1,400 miles away from their old home in Tennessee was entirely by coincidence.

“When we pulled up to K9 Cabin for our meet and greet, Teresa looks at Meta and was like, ‘She looks really familiar,'” said James Sturtevant, of Wiscasset, who adopted Meta with his wife, Adrianne. “We talked about it and figured out the other two are her brother and sister. That’s pretty cool, awesome. It’s one of those stories that make you wonder how that happens, like it’s something that was just meant to be, somehow.”

Watching the three pups cuddle with each other on a couch after playing all day, it’s hard to argue the pups don’t belong together.

“They seem to migrate to each other,” LaVallee said of the pups, who tend to play mostly with each other even though there are other dogs at the day care as well. “They run around, chase each other, nip each other on the ear, growl occasionally, catch balls together and try to steal balls from each other. And once they’re tired from running around all day, they cuddle and snuggle together.”

Andrew Hayes, of West Gardiner, was the first to bring his pup, the brindle Hoot, to K9 Cabin. He said he’d been searching for about a year, looking for a brindle Labrador mix, when he found his new furry friend. He and the other pups were at Loving Paws Rescue in Tennessee.

On Sept. 8, Hayes picked up Hoot in a truck stop parking lot in Kittery, where a dog transport service had brought him, along with other dogs, including Sierra, to their new adoptive owners.

While picking up Hoot, Hayes chatted, and exchanged phone numbers, with Alessandra and Mikel Benson, of Augusta, the new owners of the blonde Sierra.

When the Bensons were looking for a dog day care service for Sierra, they visited Hoot and Hayes, who recommended K9 Cabin, where he was already taking Hoot three days a week.

“Sierra loves to play with other dogs. She’s all dogs, dogs, dogs all the time; but here, with our household all to herself, she was the only animal, and missing her doggie buddies,” said Alessandra Benson, a medical student who brings Sierra to K9 Cabin when she’s busy with her schooling. “It’s awesome she was able to meet up with her brother and a pleasant surprise when her sister showed up, too. It’s so great to see them together.”

Hayes said it seemed as though the littermates recognized each other as soon as they were reunited at the day care site.

“He loves it. He gets pretty excited when we pull in the door” to K9 Cabin, Hayes said of Hoot. “It was like they recognized each other as soon as we came through the gate.”

Keith Edwards — 621-5647
[email protected]

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