“Our doting 15-year-old Fred has become a Foster parent for the second time in 5 years, But this time to 15 orphaned ducklings. Well done, Fred,” wrote Mountfitchet Castle on its Facebook page.
It was another great reason to celebrate for the expert duck-dog father who has learned much from his first parenting experience in 2019.
Fred’s owner, Jeremy Goldsmith, told SWNS that it was not surprising to him that the labrador has adopted a new batch of orphaned ducklings. “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.”
Back in 2019, Fred adopted nine ducklings who were left behind by their mother for an unknown reason while taking some of the brood with her when she wandered off to a pond. She never returned, and the 7-day-old ducklings were in distress.
That was when Fred started to babysit them and act like a real parent to the ducklings. The ducklings immediately responded to him with trust and affection, climbing over Fred and playing around. Fred would also keep them warm as the ducklings huddled together.
As the ducklings grew enough to mix with the other animals in the castle, Fred finally let them free.
However, four years later, Fred found another batch of orphaned ducklings to love and take care of. This time, his new family is bigger with 15 ducklings.
But Fred is very much ready for the job. He sleeps with them, plays with them, and showers the ducklings with fatherly love.
Another favorite activity of the new family is taking a walk in the castle gardens with the ducklings riding on Fred’s back.
Fred’s devotion as a parent to the orphaned siblings has even caught the attention of local newspapers and the media in Spain!
Happy parenting, Fred!Whizzco