When the owner of Barkers Pet Motel and Grooming in Alberta, Canada, returned from dinner Jan. 29, they were surprised to find one of their boarders outside of her kennel. But when they watched the security footage and learned what prompted Maggie's escape, they were blown away.
Maggie is an Australian shepherd mix that has been boarding at the pet motel for about a week. She had recently given birth to a litter of puppies that were weaned and adopted by other families before she herself was adopted. So it's no wonder that she became particularly distressed when she heard puppies crying in the night.
It was the first night that the puppies — Kari and Hannah — had stayed at the kennel. They had been dropped off that night by the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society and were clearly missing their mama. When night came, the puppies started to whimper and cry.
That's when Maggie sprang into action. When she heard the sounds of babies crying, her motherly instincts kicked in and she did whatever she had to do to get to them. According to owner Sandi Aldred, Maggie "kind of MacGyvered her way out" of a small opening in her enclosure where her water dish was kept. "It wasn’t easy for her. She had to do a lot of wiggling," Aldred added.
Once free, Maggie searched the facilities for the puppies and when she found them, she laid down outside their kennel to comfort them. When the staff returned and an employee opened the pups' kennel to check on them, Maggie followed right behind and curled up beside them.
"When we came back in the morning, they were all still cuddled up together," Alex Aldred, Sandi's son, told ABC News. "We've never really seen it before, where a dog sneaks out to some puppies and is so excited to see them."
Hopefully, this story has an even happier ending. Maggie is back with her family and enjoying her newfound fame. And the rescue society says that thanks to the media attention, the pups have a long list of families hoping to adopt them.