When bottle feeding an orphan lamb just wasn't getting the job done, an Australian Shepherd named Oakley stepped in and saved its life.
On Keela Hopkin's farm in Crowley, Wyoming, raising orphaned animals comes with the territory, especially in the case of its baby lambs. When one little lamb wouldn't take to hand-feeding with a bottle, a recent mother by the name of Oakley arose to the occasion, helping the little one survive to see another day.
"Oakley walked up to the lamb and hiked her leg over it. It took her a few tries, but eventually the lamb figured out that there was a milk bar under there," Hopkins said in an interview with This Dog's Life.
Because many lambs are either pulled from their mothers for a lack of milk or are rejected by their moms when there are simply too many mouths to feed, the lucky ones find their way over to Hopkins' farm, where they are given a second chance thanks to the helping hands of Keela, her daughters, and Oakley, who stepped in as a surrogate mom.
Having recently given birth to a pup of her own, Oakley was in just the right condition to offer up some much-needed milk, and love, to the little orphan baby. Because her own puppy seemed to grow up pretty fast, already running with the bigger farm dogs at eight weeks old, Oakley still had some maternal love to give and was happy to shower her newly adopted baby with some of it.
With her new babe mended and doing well, Oakley went on to nurse a few more lambs and has even been accused of attempting to mother nursing kittens who call the farm home. When not nursing, the good mama spends the rest of her days practicing her herding instincts, corralling loose bunnies and chickens into their respective cages and crates.
"If [the rabbits] hopped into the wrong one, she would bark until we pulled the rabbit back out," Hopkins recalled about Oakley's motherly instincts.
"Oakley has an idea about how things should be, and God help us all if we deviate from that plan."
Tell us what you think of mama dog Oakley in the comments below!
Images by Keela Hopkin via This Dog's Life
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