Last summer, the little guys above were born. Shelties, their breeder named Remus and Romulus, they looked normal to most. However, they struggled to gain weight due to an issue they shared. One that in just a few weeks, will be fixed with surgery.

The little guys were part of an almost miracle litter of seven puppies. Their mother had become sick, with a fever during pregnancy. Her breeder/owner, LuAnn Buehneman, was sure she would lose her babies. But she didn't. Unfortunately, four of the seven were born with the same problem... cleft palate. A split in the roof of the mouth. LuAnn shared, "veterinarians usually recommend that these babies be put to sleep, but I just couldn't make myself do that." LuAnn has been raising shelties for nearly 40 years and has had only a couple of others during all that time that has been born with the problem.

*The pictures below of Remus and Romulus show the problem these guys share.

GoFundMe
GoFundMe
loading...
GoFundMe
GoFundMe
loading...

So what happened next? LuAnn nursed them along to help them live. For the first three weeks of their lives, she tube-fed them every 2 to 3 hours, 24-hours a day. At six weeks old, in the picture below, they were still underweight but growing. Romulus weighed 24-ounces and Remus 32-ounces. LuAnn did the same with their two other siblings that had a cleft palate. I'm happy to report those two survived as well, with one of them about to be adopted.

LuAnn Buehneman
LuAnn Buehneman
loading...

The two pups learned to eat and drink on their own with LuAnn's help and early this year Kimmy Matthews adopted both Romulus and Remus. Romulus is now named Dutton and Remus is named Dude. Just look at 'em now... that's Dutton in the red truck and Dude in the turquoise one.

Kimmy Matthews
Kimmy Matthews
loading...
Kimmy Matthews
Kimmy Matthews
loading...

Dutton routinely gets a piece of food stuck in the top of his mouth when he eats and Kimmy is determined to correct the problem for both of the dogs. She researched the cost of the surgeries. Here in the Midwest, it was anywhere from $5000 to $8000 to have the surgery done on both dogs. Kimmy eventually found a vet in Florida that has rave reviews and will do both surgeries for $1,800. Of course, she'll also have to pay for gas, and a hotel while Dude and Dutton have surgery.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with the expenses and more than $2,350 of the $3,500 goal has already been reached. If you'd like to donate, you can do that here. If not, Kimmy asks for prayer. Dutton and Dude are scheduled for surgery on May 31.

KEEP LOOKING: See What 50 of America's Most 'Pupular' Dog Breeds Look Like as Puppies

RANKED: Here Are the 63 Smartest Dog Breeds

Does your loyal pup's breed make the list? Read on to see if you'll be bragging to the neighbors about your dog's intellectual prowess the next time you take your fur baby out for a walk. Don't worry: Even if your dog's breed doesn't land on the list, that doesn't mean he's not a good boy--some traits simply can't be measured.

Check out these 50 fascinating facts about dogs: