The pitiful dogs rescued from the rotten dump were reunited a year later to recreate the emotional photo

Cooper, Trixi and Bruno didn’t always have cozy dog beds. Before their rescues, the trio of tight knit dogs shared a dirty mattress in a dumpsite. They cuddled to stay warm and comforted one another often, but it didn’t feel quite as good as a real home.

Things changed when help arrived. But soon after, the trio separated into different foster homes, and started living separate lives.

But they never forgot the time they spent together.

“Through collaborative efforts, all three were rescued and adopted through different organizations. We recently posted an update on RSR alum Cooper (lab mix), and everyone asked, ‘what happened to the two other dogs?’” a Facebook post by Ruff Start Rescue read. “Cooper’s adoptive family tracked down Trixi and Bruno and they all reunited last weekend. Rescue doesn’t get much sweeter.”

The families and their respective rescue dogs had a great time catching up in Minnesota — a far cry from how the pups’ story began.

“[They were] found at a known dumping spot and one of our partner rescuers asked for help,” Kelli Hanson, marketing and communications manager at Ruff Start Rescue, told The Dodo. “Trixi and Bruno were rescued that day.”

While Trixi and Bruno settled into care, Cooper evaded capture. He was scared and didn’t quite trust humans to get him to safety.

“[Rescuers] knew he was still out there so they continued to check for him often,” Hanson said. “[By] the end of February, he was ready for rescue and jumped in the van.”

It quickly became clear why the pups were initially skittish. A thorough vet check showed that each would need a leg amputated before they could find loving homes. Thankfully, once each dog grew healthy enough, that’s exactly what happened.

Now, the three dogs are grateful for their second chances.

“He’s doing amazing!” Cooper’s mom, Brenda Heitschmidt, told The Dodo. “Bruno’s family said he is so easy going and happy to be in a home, and Trixi seems to do well but is a little more tippy than the boys. We believe the boys protected her.”

A lot can change in a year, but hopefully reuniting with old friends is one tradition that’ll continue. As for Cooper, his new mom can’t imagine life without him now.

“He is a perfect dog,” Heitschmidt said. “Many will say how lucky he is to be with us, however, we feel we are truly the lucky ones.”

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