A police dog called Isla was considered the “ideal choice” to nurse some puppies when a guide dog couldn’t.
Four poodle cross labrador puppies — only a week old — were flown down to labrador Isla in Wellington over the weekend after the milk of guide dog and poodle Zoe struggled to keep up with 14 hungry mouths.
Isla's temperament, good milk supply and previous mothering efforts stood her in good stead, police's Ten One Magazine said.
In 2019, Isla took on two german shepherd puppies from different litters who were struggling to feed from their own mums.
To help out Zoe, Blind Low Vision NZ, the Police Dog Training Centre, the guide dog vet team at Franklin Vets in Papakura and Massey University vet specialists teamed up.
To make their way down to Isla, the puppies travelled in an Air New Zealand cabin in a special insulated box complete with a heating pad to keep them warm.
After landing, the puppies — three boys and a girl — were soon introduced to foster mum Isla and her three puppies, who are two days older and bigger than Zoe's.
Within minutes Isla’s in-built milk bar was open for business and the blended family of seven are all thriving, Ten One Magazine said.
Zoe's puppies are expected to stay with Isla and her litter for eight weeks before returning to Auckland.