Late in May 2010, Buttercup, a two year old chihuahua in Vancouver, B.C., lost her puppy, and began grieving. She'd given birth to only one pup, and it was deformed. She tried to pull the limp dead body up underneath herself and take care of it. When the it was taken away, Buttercup stopped eating, and looked continuously for her puppy.
Within four weeks, however, Buttercup, who was going with her owner Lisa Scribner to work at an animal hospital, began taking care of a litter of five orphaned kittens. "When she saw one of the kittens in my hands, she was convinced it was her pup, and would not leave my side." Soon she was cleaning and nursing them all.
When the kittens were nearly weaned and old enough for adoption, it happened that four more kittens, born by C-section of a dying mother, also required a surrogate mother. Buttercup was still just as eager to mother them, so she was soon cleaning and caring for two batches of kittens, four just born, five just weaned.
Buttercup and the four newest kittens have been going back and forth between home and the Angel Animal Hospital in Scribner's backpack. "It's so sad that Buttercup lost her puppy, but these little kittens needed somebody too," said Scribner. "I think it's worked out all right." [Photos by Jon Murray].