A new video shows a family’s pet Labrador taking on the role of the baby’s mom by tucking the infant into bed with his nose. The video is being hailed as yet another instance of heartwarming demonstration of the saying that the dog is “man’s best friend.”
The Labrador notices that the baby is sleeping, lying face down on the sofa, uncovered. Apparently guessing that the newborn’s mom had forgotten to cover him and tuck him in, he steps in and plays mom by using his nose to cover the little sleeping baby with the blanket.
He starts by covering the baby’s body and then moves further down to cover the baby’s little feet. He works methodically, using his muzzle to lift up the blanket and throw it over the sleeping baby’s little body.
Not satisfied with merely throwing the blanket over the infant’s body, the Labrador proceeds to tuck in the baby. Using his nose, he nudges the blanket tight, firmly but gently. He stands back momentarily and looks to ensure that he has done a good job and that the baby is covered warmly and tucked in securely.
Then he saunters off, pausing to stretch himself.
The little baby appears to appreciate the attention he gets — he sobs momentarily as the pooch walks away but soon settles down to peaceful sleep.
Readers online have hailed the video as yet another example of how loyal and faithful dogs could be.
“Dogs are such loyal, kind and caring creatures… how anybody could abuse these animals is beyond me.”
“There are enormous precedences where pets are showing great care. This adorable pooch has shown just one more. So cute.”
“Lovely and caring pooch, lucky family!”
Indeed, there are “enormous precedences” where dogs play the role of surrogate parents to babies. And these instances are probably as old as man’s special relationship with dogs. The video is reminiscent of the old legend of Gelert, the loyal dog and companion of his master Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd in north-west Wales, during the reign of King John of England in the 13th century.
Filled with dread and trepidation he enters his home and finds it in disarray, and the floor smeared with blood. He enters his room and finds his baby’s cradle overturned and the baby missing.
Jumping to the conclusion that the hound had savaged the helpless infant, he drew his sword and killed the dog. But no sooner had he killed the dog than he heard the whimper and cry of the infant from under the cradle. He rushed across the room and lifted up the cradle and found the baby lying unharmed under it. Then he traced the source of the blood and found a mighty wolf lying dead.
Llywelyn realized too late that his faithful hound Gelert had risked his life, fought and killed a wolf to save his baby’s life.
Overcome with grief at his error, he buried his faithful dog with mourning and lived the rest of his life without a smile.
A Labrador isn’t likely to kill a big bad wolf to save your baby’s life, but as the video shows, they are a great dog breed to have around babies.
[Images: YouTube screengrag; Wikimedia]