Dogs are capable of amazing things; that’s one thing that no canine lover doubts. There are stories of dogs helping people and others animals in need on the local news all the time. One such story caught national attention last week, and it’s slowly spreading around the world on social media as well. It’s the story of a maternal dog and the puppies that she comforted.
You’re probably wondering why the tale of a female dog caring for puppies is such big news. First of all, the dog was not the puppies’ mother. On top of that, the dog was in a kennel and she had to break out of her kennel to get close to the puppies. The entire thing was caught and recorded by a surveillance camera.
Last week two foster puppies arrived at Barker's Pet Motel and Grooming, and the business was also boarding an Australian Shepard mix at the time. The dog, named Maggie, had been adopted from the humane society and was separated from her puppies about 2 weeks before. Apparently Maggie was still feeling very maternal.
Maggie had been staying at Barker’s for more than a week when the two puppies were brought in. The pair came from the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS). Barker’s often boards pets from the organization when they don’t have enough foster homes available. Sandi Aldred, owner of Barker’s Pet Motel and Grooming, is happy to help out when she can.
Aldred settled the puppies into their own kennel last Friday afternoon and then left for the night. A bit later she decided to check the live feed from the facilities’ surveillance cameras on her smartphone. She couldn’t believe what she saw. Maggie was out of her kennel and sitting in the hallway outside the puppies’ kennel.
After reviewing the footage from the entire night, Aldred saw Maggie nudge the water dish in her kennel aside and squeeze out through the hole. She said that she watched Maggie get out of her kennel and immediately go to where the pups were. The dog’s tail was wagging and she would bend down and poke the puppies with her nose through the chainlink pen.
Aldred went back to Barker’s after dinner and was greeted at the door by a happy Maggie. She could tell the dog was excited and Maggie led her back to the puppies’ kennel, as if to say “I need to get in there with those pups.” Aldred obliged and watched as the puppies warmed up to Maggie.
It was instantly clear that the dogs needed each other. Maggie nuzzled the pups and they snuggled into her. Aldred left the three in the kennel together overnight and returned the next morning to find them all still snuggled together. Of course, she knew that the companionship couldn’t last – Maggie’s owners would be returning for her soon.
When her parents showed up later that day, they weren’t surprised to hear that Maggie’s maternal instincts had kicked in while they were away. They told Aldred that when they adopted Maggie from the shelter, not only had she weaned her own pups, but she had taken on a second litter of puppies that were staying at the shelter as well.
Once Maggie left, the two-legged helpers at Barker’s stepped in to assist the puppies. Staff members alternate taking the pups home at night so they can have a home environment instead of being alone at the Pet Motel. Aldred believes it won’t take long for the puppies to find new homes. She’s expecting them to be gone within a matter of days.