A Dalmatian has adopted an orphaned spotted lamb abandoned by its mother in South Australia's Barossa Valley. The Dalmatian does not have puppies of her own but took a liking to the spotted lamb named "Dotty" who looks remarkably like a Dalmatian puppy.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reports the Dalmatian fusses over Dotty "cleaning it and licking it and mothering it" whenever she can.
The video showing the unlikely mother-and-child pair has gone viral on YouTube. Dotty looks unusually like a Dalmatian. According to the owners, the female dog was coming into heat and fortunately for the orphaned lamb, the "dogs maternal instincts kicked in," The Inquistr reports.
Watch the the Dalmatian groom Dotty and dutifully follow her around the Australian farm. According the farmer Julie Bolton, “It is truly spotted. Black spots on a white-based coat which is the same as a Dalmatian. Now the mother who doesn’t have puppies at the moment is actually cleaning it and licking it and mothering it and it tries to mother up to her udder. The lamb follows the dog but it gets milk from me from the bottle."
The Huffington Post reports the lamb has "happily welcomed" attention from the Dalmatian.
Bolton said: "I just thought it was hilarious, I just laughed."
John, Julie's husband, said: "We're not quite sure what we should call it, whether to call it a 'sheep-matian' or a 'Dal-dorper' or something like that but, you know, it doesn't matter how old you get -- if this sort of thing doesn't make you feel good when you see it, then well I hope never to get that old."
The Huffington Post reports the lamb is a cross between a pure-bred white Dorper ram and a cross-bred Dorper and Van Rooy ewe.
Dr. Kersti Seksel, a veterinary specialist in behavioral medicine, told ABC that "it's not unusual for dogs to surrogate all manner of animals, including lambs."
According to The Huffington Post, a golden retriever has been known to adopt white tiger cubs and a French bulldog adopted wild boar piglets.