Nine little ducklings found themselves without a mother after she disappeared without a trace recently. Luckily for the fluffy babies, a surrogate father was ready to step in and save the day. Meet Fred the Labrador retriever with a golden heart.
Fred is a 10-year-old dog living in Mountfitchet Castle in Essex, England, helping his owner, Jeremy Goldsmith, keep an eye on the castle grounds. It was while out on one of his check-ups on the grounds that he came across the orphaned ducklings.
When the ducklings were discovered wandering around on their own, with their mother nowhere to be seen, staff worried about their safety. The tiny ducklings would struggle to fend for themselves, but thankfully, Fred was ready to step up to the job.
Fred steps up as a surrogate father to the ducklings
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.
Fred’s gentle nature has made him the perfect surrogate father to the ducklings. He cuddles up to them, lets them ride on his back and he watches over them as they nap. At night, they all curl up together in his dog bed.
The ducklings love going for adventures around the castle grounds on Fred’s back.
He’s got a lovely nature and has grown up around rescued animals. They absolutely adore him and he has now resigned himself to being a stay-at-home dad looking after the nine baby ducklings.
In just a few weeks, the ducklings will be big enough to fend for themselves and Fred will have to get used to giving up his babysitting duties. If the ducklings choose to stay within the castle grounds, he can always visit them to see how they’re getting on.
People can’t get over Fred’s caring nature and surrogate-father duties, with his story going viral online. Despite his newfound fame, Fred hasn’t let it get to his head; he’s still the same sweet puppy he’s always been.