People often say that a mother’s love is like no other. But, as it turns out, this truth spans across species.
An Australian shepherd cross named Maggie was staying at Barker’s Pet Motel and Grooming in Alberta, Canada, when she heard the cries of two rescue puppies one Friday night.
The maternal dog knew the babies were scared to be alone during their first night at the pet motel.
Maggie, who was recently adopted from the Edmonton Humane Society, had her own puppies weaned from her about two weeks before that night. She had been boarding at Barker’s for over a week when the pair of nine-week-old puppies were brought there by the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS).
The pet motel often takes in dogs for AARCS and Second Chance Animal Rescue Society (SCARS) when the groups don’t have enough foster homes available.
After getting the puppies settled into their kennel that night, Sandi Aldred—the owner of Barker’s—and her family headed out for the evening.
While they were out for dinner, Sandi used her phone to check in on the pet motel. She pulled up the live feed from the facility’s surveillance cameras and saw something odd.
Maggie, who was carefully cooped up in her kennel when the family left, was sitting in the hallway outside of the pen where the new puppies were being kept. The dog would pace back and forth to neighboring pens but would always return to her post, seemingly attempting to get as close as possible to the pups.
Sandi and her family watched the entire surveillance footage and found that Maggie had nudged aside the water dish built in her kennel’s door. This allowed her to wiggle her way out through the opening.
Describing what they saw, Sandi said:
“We watched her on the surveillance cameras and she went straight around and she found their room. She paid them a lot of attention and you could see her little tail wagging. And she’d do the little bow down to them and poke them through the chainlink gate of their room. She just decided that was where she was going to stay until we came to get her.”
Sandi returned to Barker’s after dinner and was greeted by Maggie, who looked really excited.
“She came to me and she was really happy, and then she took me back to their room, as if to say, ‘I really need to meet these puppies.’“ she said.
Sandi let Maggie into the puppies’ kennel and watched as the trio got acquainted. It became clear that she had nothing to worry about because the group looked so happy to be together.
Maggie laid down and let the puppies cuddle with her. Seeing how comfortable they were, Sandi let them stay together that night. The following day, she found the trio in the same position.
“The puppies needed her and she needed them. It was pretty perfect,” she said.
Maggie’s owners came that day to pick her up. Sandi told them all about the dog’s sweet gesture, and the pair weren’t surprised; they knew they had a special dog in their hands.
They had gotten Maggie a few weeks earlier from the Edmonton Humane Society, where she and her puppies were up for adoption.
Sandi jokingly asked them if they’d be willing to let Maggie stay for a few more days to be with the puppies, but her owners were too excited to bond with her to grant the request.
“They said, ‘Well, we’ve only had her for a little while so …’ They kind of wanted her back, obviously,” Sandi said.
Luckily for the puppies, the staff at Barker’s took it upon themselves to give the little ones extra love after Maggie’s departure. They would take the pups home in the evenings so they can experience a home environment.
This story happened in 2016, and Maggie and the two puppies have long since found their forever homes. But, for the people who witnessed it, this act of love like is something that will always linger in their memories.
Here’s a video of sweet Maggie comforting the puppies.
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