A mother’s love knows no bounds, and this Doberman pinscher mama proves that applies no matter the species. Just a week after birthing a litter of six puppies last month, Ruby accepted and nursed an abandoned newborn kitten as though she was her own. It’s a story as heartwarming as it is adorable.
Brittany Callan, Ruby’s dog parent, breeds Dobermans with her family on its farm in rural Geneseo, N.Y. They have 14 Dobermans in total, six of those being Ruby’s new litter, which was born Aug. 18. But their little posse was about to get a little bigger.
One day in late August, Callan was helping clean out her aunt’s gutters when she heard a strained meowing sound coming from behind the garage. “Of course, me being an animal lover, I had to go check it out,” Callan tells Daily Paws. Low and behold, there was a helpless kitty.
Callan and her cousin, Nicole Gibbs, watched to see if the kitten’s mother might return for her, but later they took the kitty inside when they heard coyotes. Gibbs decided to name the kitten Ramblin’ Rose after her recently deceased father’s favorite song.
Ramblin’ Rose was incredibly small and still had part of a dried umbilical cord attached to her, leading Callan to conclude she was just a few days old at most. Newborns need milk to survive, and right next door, Ruby was still nursing her own week-old puppies who hadn’t even opened their eyes yet. Callan decided to introduce the two.
CREDIT: COURTESY OF BRITTANY CALLAN
After an easy introduction, Callan opened the kitten’s little mouth and placed it on Ruby’s smallest nipple. “She took right to her and didn’t seem to mind at all,” Callan says. In fact, the dog became quite attached to her “adopted” baby.
Their relationship has progressed to an incredibly adorable level. Callan says Ruby carries Ramblin’ Rose around the house in her mouth. The puppies are larger and rowdier than the shy kitty, so Ruby often scoops her out of the pen and lays with her on the couch.
“[Ruby] grew up with small animals [and learned] to be nice and just lick them and be friendly with everything,” Callan says. “She’s just an extremely, extremely compassionate dog.”
Ruby has long been accustomed to other animals since Callan brought her home at 8 weeks old. Ruby would even share the front seat with a rabbit on car rides and cuddle with baby ducks in the yard.
Despite their energy difference, Ramblin’ Rose and her new puppy siblings also get along great. Callan says they snuggle up together at night, sleeping soundly as a little family.
The puppies are all reserved and will go to new homes after they turn 10 weeks old. Meanwhile, Gibbs, Callan’s cousin who helped rescue Ramblin’ Rose, will take the kitten home herself after the kitten is through nursing.
Gibbs lives near Callan, so Ramblin’ Rose will have many chances to visit with her beloved dog mama.
“I can take Ruby over to see her any time,” Callan says.