At LittleThings, we see a lot of stories about dogs taking on orphaned puppies as their own, and we’ve even seen them become surrogate parents for orphaned kittens.
Dogs love being mamas and taking care of babies, even if they aren’t their own — their natural mother’s instinct kicks in and they start taking care of the babies, whether or not they’re the right species.
Despite all these stories, I’ve never seen one quite like this!
Blair Braverman, the owner of a number of large snow dogs, decided to train one of her canines to care for chickens.
Blair, who is a dogsled racer training for the Iditarod, knew her sweet Alaskan husky-greyhound mix, Flame, would be able to coexist with chickens… she’d just have to train her not to eat them first.
In a hilarious series of Twitter posts, Blair documented Flame’s experience as she learned to take care of the chicks.
[H/T: Country Living]
This is Flame. Although she’s normally a sled tog training for the Iditarod, her owner Blair recently decided to give her a new challenge.
Now, Flame is learning to take care of chickens and baby chicks.
On Twitter, Blair wrote:
As you may remember, we’re chicken-training one of our sled dogs, Flame.
In other words, we’re teaching her not to eat them. Which is hard for her.
Flame didn’t quite understand what was happening at the beginning, so Blair watched over her while they began chicken-training her.
[We] started the training with just two chicks on her bed. We supervised sternly. She quivered and drooled.
After a minute or two, we whisked the chicks away and rewarded her with a delicious ham sandwich.
That was a few weeks ago. Since then, every other day, we’ve brought over more chicks for slightly longer periods of time.
As Flame started getting used to the chicks, she realized she actually liked them. Soon enough, she was excited to see them!
Flame stopped shaking and drooling. Pretty soon she’d thump her tail when she heard those peep-peep-peeps coming closer.
The chicks loved her. They often jumped on her back and settled in to soak up her warmth, which concerned her, but she tolerated it.
Then a funny thing happened.
The first time Flame licked a chicken, I lunged down and whisked it away from her, growling. NO taste tests allowed.
But she kept doing it. A chick would hop up to her, she’d put her nose next to it, and super-quick she’d slip out her tongue for a lick.
Blair was worried Flame might try to eat one of the chicks, but even though she thought Flame knew better, she kept watching closely — just in case.
She was getting rougher with them, too. Whereas before she was tense + still, now she’d butt the chicks with her snout and push them around.
Gentle, we’d warn her. But she wasn’t listening. She was obsessed.
Some friends were over and we all realized it at the same time… Flame is spayed. But her whole life, she’s been obsessed with puppies.
Like, she straight up starts LACTATING when she’s around puppies. But she’s never had her own.
All that licking the chicks, and snout-butting them? She was grooming and teaching them. Trying to teach them to be baby huskies.
Anyway, now she can’t get enough of them.
She’s SO HAPPY when she hears them coming, and immediately inspects them to make sure they’re OK.
We have 11 chicks, and she counts them constantly. If she can’t see one she’ll go searching and only relax when she finds it.
She’s trying to teach them to play, but they don’t quite get it. So for now she just licks and nuzzles and thumps her tail like crazy.
And that’s the story of how Flame became a chicken mama.
How adorable is this story? This definitely isn’t the outcome Blair expected, but it’s just so cute.
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