Fred didn't wake up on Thursday expecting to become a single parent. But he undertook the role of becoming the sole carer for nine abandoned babies after their mother got eaten by a fox. 

 

I should probably elaborate... Fred is a senior golden retriever... and his children are a flock of fluffy ducklings. 

 

WE CANNOT DEAL WITH THE CUTNESS!

 

 

The ten-year-old dog-father is the resident dog of Mountfitchet Castle near Stansted, Essex. It was there a member of staff in the tourist attraction found the lost siblings wandering around the battlements. 

 

The humans were worried about how the ducklings would fare without their mother, but they needn't have worried- Fred took them immediately into his loving paws. 

 

Jeremy Goldsmith, director of Mountfitchet Castle, told The Sun about where he thinks the mother went.  

 

“We knew the mother duck was nesting and then suddenly these ducklings appeared but she was nowhere to be seen," he explained. “We think it was possibly a fox.” 

 

 

Jeremy, who also happens to be Fred's owner, said that the pooch has embraced single parenthood. 

 

“Fred has got an absolutely wonderful nature. They absolutely love him.”

 

Photos of Fred and his ducklings have since gone viral thanks to a feature on the popular Twitter account, We Rate Dogs. 

 

"They absolutely adore him and he has now resigned himself to being a stay-at-home dad looking after the nine baby ducklings," Jeremy told the BBC.

 

The little ducklings now Fred everywhere, even into the moat for a swim. Sometimes the cheeky little quackers even hitch a ride on his back. They even sleep in Fred's bed. 

Single parenting can be ruff. 

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