This Delco woman is living the life that most dog lovers can only dream of.
Mackenzie Makatche, 28, is a mom to not just one, but nine Newfoundland dogs! She documents her pet parenting journey on “The Newf Crew” Instagram page, which has already amassed 46.9k followers as of writing.
The dog lover even has her own viral meme! Someone turned a photo of Mackenzie carrying four Newfie pups and captioned it: “Me: *walks out of animal shelter* ‘Excuse me miss you can’t do th—’ Me: mind ya biness.”
In their family, it was Mackenzie and her mom who conspired to bring more Newfoundlands into their household. But aside from having them as pets, her mom had a greater vision for them.
“She really wanted to start a therapy organization to visit people in the hospital,” Mackenzie. “Little did she know that she was going to be one of those people.”
Diedre, her mom, was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in 2016. She became the first patient of the Newfoundland dogs even before they were trained to comfort others.
On April 10, 2018, Mackenzie’s mom told her that she was ready, and took her last breath as her daughter held her hand.
“If it weren’t for the dogs, there would be so many days that I would’ve stayed in bed after my mom died. They gave me so many smiles when I needed to smile,” she said
Now, Mackenzie’s mission is to continue what she and her mom started. Her crew is now up to nine dogs – Guinness, Murphy, Storm, Skyy, Aisling, Oliver, Belle, Duncan, and Coeli – and three puppies which will soon go home to their forever families. So far, three of the adult dogs have already completed their therapy training!
Celebrating holidays is also more fun in their home because Mackenzie gets to celebrate it her fluffy crew of nine. She likes dressing them up according to the occasion and taking photos of them like a true proud dog mom.
“My mom really liked the holiday pictures so I’ve been putting more effort into them since she passed away. They’re probably embarrassed by me, but they do it just to humor me,” she said.
Living with such a large number of dogs of the same breed, people couldn’t help but feel curious about her and her crew. The most common questions that she gets asked are: Are they bears? (No.) How much dog food do they eat? (Two bags a week.) How big is your house? (Nice with a large yard but not enormous.) How much do they weigh? (Between 100 and 145 pounds.) Are you crazy? (“Definitely yes. I don’t think otherwise you can have nine dogs,” she said.)
It might be a “crazy” life having nine large-breed dogs, but it sure is fun and fulfilling!