This Incredible Story of a Dog That Adopted Nine Ducklings Will Melt Your Heart

This is an illustrated children's story waiting to happen.

If you've heard about the elderly dog that patiently waits at a train station for 12 hours a day for her human to come back from work,  you know that canines are some of the kindest and most wonderful creatures on earth. Now there's more proof in the form of Fred, a 10-year-old labrador retriever who has won the heart of the Internet by adopting nine orphaned ducklings.

In what sounds like an IRL children's story, the baby ducklings were found wandering around the grounds of Mountfitchet Castle (which is open to visitors) in Stansted, England, with their mother nowhere in sight. Looking lost and helpless, the castle staff took the baby birds inside, which is when good old Fred, a resident rescue dog, decided to step in as their new foster parent.

The ducklings took to him swimmingly (pun intended). They follow him around everywhere, including when he goes for his daily dip in the castle moat. At night, they all curl up together in his doggy basket, as though it were a nest.

"We brought the ducklings into the house as they are too young to fend for themselves, and Fred just took them under his paw – rather than his wing," Jeremy Goldsmith, one of the owners of the attraction and Fred's human, told the BBC. "He's got a lovely nature and has grown up around rescued animals."

Fred, for his part, takes his new parenting duties very seriously.

"[The ducklings] absolutely adore him and he has now resigned himself to being a stay-at-home dad looking after the nine baby ducklings," Mr Goldsmith said.

The owner also added that the plan is to have the little birds stay with Fred until they can take care of themselves, at which point they can either live on the castle grounds, or fly out to greener pastures. Based on the photos, we can safely assume they're here to stay.

For more on the incredible connection between canines and humans, check out The Age When Cute Puppies Are At Their Cutest.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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