Fred is a 15-year-old dog living at Mountfitchet Castle in Essex, England. In early July, the castle office posted photos of the dog with his feathered brood on Facebook and wrote: "Fred became a 'foster parent' for the second time in five years...Well done Fred".
The ducklings were orphaned when their mother disappeared one night. However, not wanting to leave them alone, Fred immediately took it upon himself to raise them.The ducklings are expected to live with Fred until they are old enough to survive on their own.
For Fred's owner, Jeremy Goldsmith, this came as no surprise. "Fred has spent a lot of time in the castle with the animals during his 15 years of ownership, and it's become something of a second calling for him to rescue various animals," Jeremy told SWNS, according to the Daily Mail.
So in 2018, Fred, then 10 years old, took charge of caring for nine orphaned ducklings. He took care of them until they were old enough to assimilate into the grounds of the medieval castle among other animals that roamed the grounds freely.
The following year, Fred again took on the role of "foster father" for an already new brood of 7-day-old ducklings. The mother musk duck gave birth to 14 babies, but left half of them in the nest and went with the other ducklings to a nearby pond.
When Fred was introduced to the abandoned ducklings, he immediately lay down beside them to warm them. Seeing this heartfelt gesture, the castle owner and staff breathed a sigh of relief.
"He took up that responsibility again, and the ducklings pretty much accepted Fred right away".
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