Get out your hankies cause this is the cutest, most heartwarming, most tear duct stimulating thing you'll see all day. An animal control officer was called to a steep embankment behind a Home Depot in South Carolina because someone reported hearing incessant barking. When the officer got there, she found a small shih tsu entangled in a mass of briars. But it quickly became apparent why the pup was so anxious to get help -- because she was busy nursing. And what she was nursing took the officer by surprise. For it wasn't a puppy. It was a tiny kitten!

Somehow the two of them got to the bottom of the ravine -- either because some heartless person dumped them or the dog got lost and found the stray kitten -- and the dog refused to leave what she now considered to be her offspring!

In fact, the pooch has gone into what one veterinarian calls a "pseudo pregnancy" and was nursing the kitten as if it were her own. I've heard of animals who will start producing milk if they are suckled even though they weren't the ones who gave birth -- does this happen with women too? Or even men? Haha.

The protective pup didn't care that the tiny kitten wasn't really hers -- she just knew it needed help and she refused to leave its side until help came. Even though the officer believes the dog could have easily climbed up the embankment and left. But she probably would have stayed down there without food or water until she died rather than leave her little charge. This is why we love animals, isn't it? They really have such pure loving hearts.

Luckily these two, now named Goldie and Kate, were adopted as a pair thanks to Anderson County PAWS. Now they can be together furrrrever!

Have you ever seen one species nurse another?

 

Image via Anderson County PAWS