It was the very first night at the kennel for the two puppies.
It’s time to stop everything you’re doing and pay close attention to this Extremely Cute Dog Story.
Maggie is an Australian shepherd mix dog in Alberta, Canada.
Her humans dropped her off for a short stay at Barkers Pet Motel and Grooming, and one night, she very cleverly managed to break out of her kennel. Her mission? To find two young puppies and comfort them on their first night there.
The puppies were 9-week-old foster pups from the local rescue society. They were staying at Barkers Pet Motel while they waited for their forever homes. They were probably frightened on their first night, but Maggie knew exactly what to do.
The maternal dog had just weaned her own litter of puppies a few weeks prior, so her motherly instinct kicked in when she heard the crying puppies.
“We’ve never really seen it before, where a dog sneaks out to some puppies and is so excited to see them,” Barkers staff member Alex Aldred told ABC News.
The employees at Barkers Pet Motel and Grooming have seen a lot of cuteness over the years, but they say this story definitely “takes the cake.”
Barkers is a boarding facility, but it often takes in foster dogs for local rescue societies when there aren’t enough foster homes available.
One day, the facility took in two 9-week-old puppies as fosters.
At the same time, an Australian shepherd mix named Maggie was boarding there while her owners were out of town.
Over the weekend, owner Sandi Aldred got all the dogs settled into their kennels for the evening. While she and her family were out at dinner, she used her phone to check on the pups through the surveillance cameras.
She noticed something peculiar. Maggie had slipped out of her own pen somehow, and she was hanging out outside of the puppies’ kennel.
The surveillance video showed the whole thing. Maggie went to the puppies to sniff them, lick them through the gate, and lie down next to them.
“We watched her on the cameras and she went straight around and she found their room,” Sandi told CBC. “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 said. “It was really sweet. She just had to be with those puppies.”
Sandi went back to the kennel after dinner, and Maggie greeted her at the door.
“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,’” Sandi recalled.
So she let Maggie into the puppies’ kennel.
“They were just all so happy to be together,” Sandi explained. “She was nuzzling them really gently and nudging them, and then she laid down and let them cuddle with her.”
“The puppies needed her and she needed them,” said Sandi. “It was pretty perfect.”
Sandi allowed Maggie to stay with the dogs all night long. When staff returned in the morning, they were all still cuddled up together.
Maggie’s maternal instincts were particularly strong at the time because she’d just weaned her own litter of puppies a few weeks earlier before being rescued from the Edmonton Humane Society.
However, all dogs — even males, or females who haven’t had babies — have an innate instinct to help care for the young.
The two 9-week-old puppies had also been weaned fairly recently from their mom, and they were waiting for their forever homes.
Sandi said she jokingly tried to get Maggie’s humans to let her stay and comfort the pups for a bit longer.
“They said, ‘Well, we’ve only had her for a little while so …’ They kind of wanted her back, obviously,” Sandi laughed.
Sandi did, however, make sure to show Maggie’s humans how sweet the dog was with the puppies.
As for those adorable pups? They’ve likely long been adopted by now! At the time, the Barkers staff made sure to give them extra TLC while they adjusted to their new surroundings.
“A lot of our staff have fallen in love with them, so they’ll take them home in the evenings and let them have a home environment for the night,” Sandi told CBC at the time.
We truly don’t deserve dogs!
This story originally appeared at LittleThings.