Passengers at the Tampa International Airport saw quite the sight when they witnessed a service dog give birth to eight adorable puppies while waiting to board their flight.
To quite the surprise of airline passengers waiting at Gate F80, the smart and loyal service dog was about to become a mother right before their eyes.
The sweet dog’s name is Eleanor Rigby and she’s now one proud Labrador mommy! Accompanied by her owner Diane Van Atter and Eleanor’s mate, a Labrador named Golden Nugget, the pregnant dog ended up going into labor when anybody least expected it.
To no surprise, the major ordeal caused quite the stir in the airport terminal that day. Instead of looking at iPhones, reading the paper, or looking for their next gate or departure time – passengers were instead enthralled by the 3-hour ordeal that was in front of them.
Onlookers marveled as they watched Eleanor Rigby give birth to puppy after puppy.
“I was here since puppy five. It’s on Instagram; We’re getting a lot of likes!” said one passenger who posted updates online.
Another passenger named Kristin Hamilton also happened to bear witness to Eleanor’s (aka Ellie’s) magical moment.
“A Service Dog named Ellie, short for Eleanor Rigby caused quite a stir at Tampa airport yesterday. The two-year-old yellow lab went into labor before boarding a plane to Philadelphia. Tampa Fire Rescue delivered seven puppies; 6 girls and one boy. Congratulation to the new mom and safe travels,” she wrote.
After all was said and done – Ellie gave birth to 8 puppies – 7 males and one female.
Thankfully, to help with the birth, Tampa Fire and Rescue were there to assist if anything were to go awry (thankfully, nothing did!). They closely monitored the hard-working dog, making sure she was safe and healthy during the 3-hour ordeal at Gate F80. After she was done birthing the very last puppy, all of the babies were checked out and given a perfectly clean bill of health!
“They have our names of course! And of course, the last one’s Natalie, it’s a girl!” paramedic Natalie Brown happily revealed to Fox News 13.
“And Number two is Larry,” said her colleague, Larry Glanton, who was also nearby for the delivery.
As to be expected, Van Atter, Ellie, and Golden Nugget missed their flight that day and traveling was deemed unsafe for the new mom and her little newborns.
The family was traveling from Tampa back to their home in Pennsylvania and the rule for most airlines is that they do not let animals less than two-days-old travel, and in some cases, it’s two-weeks-old. So, Van Atter’s only option was to rent a car and travel home via car – but at least she had 10 incredibly cute dogs to keep her company the entire time!
After the video of the beautiful moment was posted online, commenters were eager to weight in.
“Simply when the body says to give birth it is simply that time no matter where. Never the less she gave birth to beautiful babies and hopefully they will find forever homes and give light and loyality to someone life,” said one Facebook user.
“What an example of the diversion…joyful!…of witnessing the miracle of…birth!” said another.
Watch this beautiful moment in the full Facebook video below. Congrats, Ellie!!
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Posted by Tampa International Airport on Friday, May 25, 2018