A mother dog is being hailed as a hero after she used some quick-thinking—and quite a bit of dirt—to rescue her litter of puppies. A forest fire broke out near Valparaiso, Chile, last week. The dog realized that there was no way she would be able to save all nine of her young puppies by simply carrying them to safety.
It was a situation that would no doubt have challenged and terrified any human mother, but this furry mom was not going to give up on her kids. To save her puppies from the approaching fire, she reportedly dug a deep hole and placed them all inside. She then carefully buried her puppy litter in order to protect it from the blaze.
When the mother dog was done, she was said to have taken shelter in an abandoned building not too far from where the forest fire raged. Telemundo 47 reports that rescuers found the hole where the puppies were buried and that none of them were in any way harmed. It took rescuers nearly an hour to recover all nine members of the litter.
Soon after they were rescued, the puppies were reunited with their eager mother. The dog has since been affectionately nicknamed “Negita” by the locals. Offers to adopt the family have poured in from all over.
The family of dogs is quite lucky to have survived. According to BBC News, this area of Chile has been hit by numerous forest fires in recent weeks. The most recent blaze from which the mother dog and her puppies escaped is said to have devastated over 500 hectares of land. The fire was brought under control, and the thousands that were evacuated were allowed to return to their homes. However, Valparaiso officials have a “red alert” in place. There remains some concern that high winds could re-ignite the blaze.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 16, 2015
As for the mother dog and her puppies, some may be puzzled as to how the canine knew that dirt was her best and only defense against fire. Remember that in some cases where water is unavailable, a fire can be extinguished by using dirt. The key is to make sure that the dirt is free from any “source of ignition,” such as dry leaves or combustible waste.
This heroic mother dog has no idea who Smokey the Bear is, but thanks to a combination of maternal instinct and love for her puppies, a growing number of admirers now know who she is.
[Image Credit: Voice of America]