EDMONTON – Despite recently giving up her litter of seven puppies for adoption, an Australian Shepherd cross named Maggie showed off her maternal instincts at a local kennel.
While Maggie’s family was away on vacation, the six-year-old dog waited until the lights went off for the night at Barker’s Pet Motel in St. Albert and wiggled out of her cage in search of new puppies to care for.
“She managed to slide her water bowl out and slide her way through,” explained Sandi Aldered, the owner of Barker’s Pet Motel. The space vacated by the water bowl isn’t large, but neither is Maggie.
From there, it was straight to the puppy cage, where rescues Hannah and Kari were whining.
“I think she knew as soon as those puppies got here at 4 o’clock Friday afternoon, that they were here and after we left she thought, ‘here’s my chance! I’m going to go and see them,'” Aldered said.
She kept watch over the German Shepherd puppies as though they were her own, lying down in front of their gate.
“Even though she doesn’t have puppies any more and she’s been spayed, she’s still in that maternal instinct,” said Aldered.
The puppies are being fostered at Barker’s while Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) tries to find them a home.
The pair came from a rural area in Saskatchewan and their mother was a stray.
When the kennel owners caught sneaky Maggie on security footage, they decided to let her spend the night cuddling with the puppies.
“It was pretty heart-warming. It’s probably one of the cutest things we’ve ever had happen here.”
Barker’s then informed Maggie’s family of the situation.
“Sandy told us, ‘Well, I have something to tell you about your dog,’ and I was like, ‘oh my God, what did this dog do?’ We were a little nervous,” chuckled Maggie’s owner, Grant Harty.
But they didn’t need to worry, the news was all positive.
“Maggie was with puppies, that made her happy, it made us happy, it made the puppies happy. It was a feel good story.”
Harty’s family only adopted Maggie three weeks ago from the Edmonton Humane Society.
“She’s just so friendly and lovable; it was hard to say no when we saw her,” he explained.
AARCS Edmonton coordinator, Chris Sanderson, said this type of interaction between dogs is why the rescue sends puppies to temporary foster homes like Barker’s.
“We see so many negative and disturbing situations, it’s just beautiful to see these puppies happy and healthy and a mom like Maggie who was also adopted.”Follow @SarahNKraus
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