To most of us, our family members are people directly related to us. But those who found themselves in less fortunate circumstances often need to change their definition of family a little bit. Just like Fred and his nine adopted ducklings.
Fred is a 10-year-old Labrador who guards Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted, Essex. Fred has grown up with his human mom and dad, Jo and Jeremy Goldsmith, in the castle with various rescued animals , and needless to say, Fred had gotten used to taking care of other animals who had been through a lot.
But one day, Fred’s paternal instincts rose to the surface when the castles staff found nine lost ducklings wandering around the castle. The nine ducklings were all alone, with no mom in sight. The staff believes she could have been taken by a fox, and they were worried that the nine ducklings could meet the same fate. Thankfully, when the ducklings were introduced to Fred, he immediately took them ‘under his paw’. Fred looks after them, and even swim with them in the castle’s moat every single day. Because of Fred’s generous heart, the ducklings now see him as their dad. They follow him everywhere, and even sleep together in the same basket inside the house.
Fred, his ducklings and all the other rescued animals who live in Mountfitchet Castle truly prove that real family doesn’t necessarily mean having a blood relationship or belonging to the same species, but real family is formed through genuine love and compassion.