On the fateful morning of October 23, 2004, a dog named Mari gave birth to three puppies in Yamakoshi Village, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. That evening, a severe earthquake struck Niigata and devastated the Village, causing almost all of its homes to collapse, including the one where Mari lived. During the quake the newborn puppies were jolted away from their mother, and since their eyes were still closed, they could not find their way back to her side. Also, because she was bound by a leash, Mari could not reach her babies. She tried repeatedly to pull free from the leash, but to no avail. Then, several tremors occurred and Mari tried even harder to break free until her neck began to bleed. Suddenly, another strong aftershock struck, Mari struggled with all her might, and the collar suddenly came loose. Next she quickly picked up her puppies, moved them to a safe place, and without taking a rest ran toward the ruins that were once her house.