Senior Labrador Steps In As Foster Dad For Fifteen Orphaned Ducklings

Is there anything more adorable than interspecies friendships? There’s just something special about two different animal species providing love and comfort to one another that immediately tugs at your heartstrings. 

So it’s understandable why Fred, the 15-year-old Golden Retriever, is earning all kinds of attention across the internet. When this devoted dog stepped in as a surrogate dad to 15 orphaned ducklings, it warmed the hearts of people all over the world.

Fred and ducks

Meet Fred, The Golden Retriever

Fred and his dad, Jeremy Goldsmith, live on the grounds of Mountfitchet Castle in Essex, England. The castle is a national historic monument and a world-famous attraction situated on its original site. It’s a wealth of living history and a popular field trip spot for local school children. 

Ducks with dad

It’s on the castle grounds where the doting duckling, dad, finds the orphaned flocks and assumes the role of their friend and protector. 

Practiced Duck Parent

That’s right; this isn’t the first time this devoted doggy dad has stepped in and adopted a flock of orphaned ducklings as his own. In fact, this is the third time that this sweet pup has done this same thing. 

Ducks on dad's back

It was back in 2018 that Fred, who was 10 years old at the time, first found a flock and didn’t hesitate to step in as an adoptive dad. He took to caring for nine fluffy ducklings as a total pro. Then, a year later, he adopted another brood of baby birds. 

Now, in 2022, he has 15 adorable ducklings that he’s caring for until they can survive on their own. Once it became obvious that their mother had disappeared from the grounds and they were left all alone, Fred stepped in as their pseudo father and assumed his familiar role. 

Ducks aren’t the only animal who call the castle their home. Goats, deer, sheep, peacocks, and other rescue animals also live on the grounds. 

Ducks on back

“Over the 15 years of owning him, Fred has spent a lot of time at the castle with the animals, and it has become second nature to him to be amongst the various rescued animals,” said Jeremy, Fred’s dad. 

If the trend continues as it has in the past, Fred will continue to watch over his new feathered friends until they can fend for themselves. How lucky are they that such a sweet, doting dog was there to take the place of their mom?

Have you ever seen something so adorable and heartwarming? Fred is one special Lab! 

Featured Image: Facebook