A flock of ducklings are calling a Labrador retriever Dad after the lovable dog adopted nine brothers and sisters when their mom disappeared.
Fred, a 10-year old Labrador retriever and the resident dog at Mountfitchet Castle, a tourist attraction near the Stansted Airport in Essex, took on the role of Dad when nine little ducklings became orphaned last week.
When the ducklings’ mom disappeared, a member of staff at the castle found them waddling around the castle grounds alone. Staff worried about the ducklings but Fred immediately took to them and has been babysitting ever since.
According to the BBC, the ducklings sleep in Fred’s dog basket, and have been for a swim with him in the castle moat. Fred’s human, Jeremy Goldsmith, an owner at the attraction said the ducklings follow Fred around as if he were their mother.
“They absolutely adore him and he has now resigned himself to being a stay-at-home dad looking after the nine baby ducklings,” Goldsmith said.
Castle staff expect Fred to care for the ducklings for just a few more weeks until their old enough to venture off on their own.