Service Dog Goes Into Labor While Waiting At The Airport

Strange things happen at airports all the time. I was once at LAX waiting for a flight when I saw a man walk by carrying a bag of Chinese takeout and walking a ferret on a leash. That was quite a sight to behold. Unfortunately, my phone had died, so I was unable to get a picture. 

But some passengers at the Tampa International Airport were witness to a once in a lifetime experience when a service dog went into labor. The Labrador ended up giving birth to her eight precious puppies while waiting to get on their flight.

The service dog named Eleanor Rigby was one of the airline passengers patiently waiting at Gate F80 when nature happened. Eleanor was with her owner, Diane Van Atter, as well as Golden Nugget, Eleanor’s doggie partner. That is when the pregnant pooch started the labor process and became a mom right in front of everyone.

The whole labor took three hours, which meant that the passengers waiting at that particular terminal were not bored in the least. They all got to experience a real-life nature documentary unfolded in front of them. Many of the passengers were amazed and enthralled by what they were seeing. One person even posted updates of the birth on social media. They wrote, “I was here since puppy five. It’s on Instagram. We’re getting lots of likes!”

Kristin Hamilton, one of the passengers watching the birth, shared her version of the experience, stating that the two-year-old lab went into labor just before the flight to Philadelphia. She added, “Congratulations to the new mom and safe travels.”

Luckily for Eleanor, she wasn’t alone in the labor process. She was assisted in her labor and delivery by Tampa Fire and Rescue. They helped the mom give birth to her eight puppies, seven of them were boys and there was only one girl.  Once she was finished giving birth, Eleanor and her puppies were given a medical check – everyone was perfectly healthy. 

As paramedic Natalie Brown shared with Fox News 13, “They have our names of course! And of course, the last one’s Natalie, it’s a girl!” How sweet that the puppies were named after the paramedics who helped to bring them into this world. Eleanor and her puppies, along with Golden Nugget and their owner, weren’t able to make their flight that day. The canine family won’t be traveling back home until it is safe for mom and babies to make the trip. 

Congratulations, Eleanor!

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