Fred is a very good boy.
Last year, the golden labrador decided to become a stand-in parent for nine ducklings after their mother disappeared without a trace (it was suspected that she was attacked by a fox).
After his new-found fuzzy kids grew up and flew the coup, Fred stumbled across a second set of ducklings who needed his help.
The six birds were abandoned by their mother, a Muscovy duck, who walked off with six of their siblings.
That’s when Fred bravely stepped up, once again.
The 11-year-old dog noticed the ducklings huddled together and laid down next to them to keep them warm and safe.
Soon enough, the ducklings started to climb on top of his back and one brave bird even took a seat on Fred’s head.
‘He took to his role like a duck to water,’ said Jeremy Goldsmith, director of Mountfitchet Castle near Stansted, Essex, where Fred is the resident pet.
‘Fred has got an absolutely wonderful nature. They absolutely love him.’
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‘Fred indicated straight away that there would be no ducking out of his duties as he settled in around them,’ said Jeremy.
‘Within minutes the ducklings accepted their odd looking new mum and were climbing all over him.’
Hopefully the ducklings’ mother will return soon to look after her young, but until then, Fred’s got them covered.
Such a good boy.