Our Springer, Libby, was sick. She doesn’t often get sick, and so I’ll admit that we panicked a little. Our last Springer developed pancreatitis and died from it, so we sort of freak out when stomach issues arise.

But Libby will be fine, and her meds have taken hold and we’ve had 12 straight hours of no issues so everything will be fine. But what is funniest to us is Duchess responding to our dogs when they are sick. She mothers them.

She licks their eye goop away. She licks their heads. She nuzzles them. She gets in the middle and cuddles them.

It's ok children, I'm here.

It’s ok children, I’m here.

It’s hilarious, but also another reminder of where she came from. My husband pointed out it’s the only way she can relate to other dogs. A puppy mill mom only ever deals with her puppies, and so she sees Libby and Gus as her babies.

Libby is easy – she looks like Duchess, she probably has some sort of ancient Springer smell, she plays like Duchess does. When Libby was sick the other night it wasn’t Libby who alerted us, it was Duchess.

Gus on the other hand…well, Andy says Duchess thinks, “I don’t know what happened to this baby! He got SO BIG!” It’s hard to mother a 75 pound giant, but she manages just fine.

I’m awfully glad to have her help. She’s a good mama and I think our dogs have started to feel like she’s their guardian too.