Workers at a Canadian pet motel and foster care center witnessed a heartwarming act from one of the shelter's four-legged boarders on Jan. 29.
Maggie, an Australian shepherd mix, had been staying at Barker's Pet Motel and Grooming in St. Albert, Canada, for just over a week when two new puppies arrived to board there, CA Global News reported.
Alex Aldred, who works at the pet motel, explained that both Maggie and her own litter of puppies had recently been adopted out to different families through the Edmonton Humane Society, and he believed the maternal dog was missing her own offspring.
"We think that's why she got so attached to the puppies," Alex told ABC News.
Alex's mother, Sandy Aldred, who owns the care center, was out at dinner when she decided to check on the animals via the center's live feed surveillance system from her phone.
She was surprised to see Maggie, who had been safely secured in her kennel before she left, sitting in the hallway outside the pen where the new puppies were being kept. The dog paced in front of the kennel as if keeping watch over the puppies.
"She paid them a lot of attention and you could see her little tail wagging," Alex told CA Global News. "She just decided that was where she was going to stay until we came to get her."
A review of the evening's surveillance footage showed that the dog had wriggled out through an opening in her kennel after pushing her water dish out of the way.
When Sandy returned to the motel, Maggie ran up and greeted her immediately and then led her back to the kennel where the puppies were.
Sandy said she let Maggie stay the night in the puppies' cage and found the three of them still cuddled together the next morning.
"They were all just so happy to be together," Sandy added. "She was nuzzling them really gently and nudging them, and then she laid down and let them cuddle with her."
The Aldreds said Maggie's owners returned to the motel to pick her up later that day and said they weren't surprised by their pet's nurturing actions.
The puppies were sent to the motel from the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS), the organization that rescued them, and have not yet found permanent homes.
A staff member at AARCS told ABC News that the puppies, named Hannah and Kari, were between 9 and 10 weeks old.