Campground Dog Surprises Owners With His Reaction To An Unexpected Visitor

Most dog owners know their pooches would make friends with just about anyone or anything. If another dog passes by, ol’ Blue’s as likely to give her a cordial sniff and a friendly lick as he would a thief knocking on the front door of the family home. Still, sometimes a dog’s friendliness can stun even the most dedicated dog lovers.

For instance, way up toward the northern tip of Maine, a dog owner and her family had seen their dog shake his tail with delight at the numerous guests that stayed on their family-owned campground. But the dog’s reaction to a surprise visitor on the campground created an unforgettable moment for her entire family!

As an owner and operator of Lugdon Lodge—a family-owned camp in rural Wallagrass, Maine—Shannon Lugdon dealt regularly with animals from the surrounding woods. But in June 2018, she met an animal that truly stood out from the rest.

The encounter started at 5 a.m on a Saturday morning. Through the early-morning silence of the campground—while camping kids still slept from the previous day’s activities—Shannon heard an alarming sound.

Lugdon Lodge

The calls cutting through the campgrounds belonged to a baby moose! Shannon supposed the little girl was calling out for her mother. After dubbing her Miss Maggie, Shannon decided she was going to help.

Shannon Lugdon / Facebook

But as much as she’d have liked to fix the little moose’s situation right then and there, Shannon couldn’t just call out and summon her missing mother. This was one of those moments where nature had to run its course. Until about eights hours later.

Right around 1 p.m., Miss Maggie wandered dangerously close to route 11, a 402-mile highway that cuts through Maine’s center. A moose in the road—baby or not—wasn’t exactly a benefit for drivers. Shannon had to intervene.

The campground owner called the local wardens. “Two phenomenal wardens—Adrian and Nick,” Shannon wrote on her Facebook, “came over and we helped Miss Maggie back down to the brook in the shade.” But the problem wasn’t quite solved.

Aislinn Sarnacki / Bangor Daily News

The baby moose wandered back to the spot where she’d been crying so audibly at 5 a.m. that morning, “the spot we think her Momma had left her,” Shannon wrote. Only minutes before, Shannon thought Miss Maggie was about to pick up on her mother’s scent and solve the case herself, but they were back to square one.

Shannon Lugdon / Facebook

Complicating matters further, the wardens instructed Shannon and her family not to go near Miss Maggie. Often, the wardens noted, animals that appear abandoned, aren’t. “Wild animals often leave their babies to eat, drink and rest,” Shannon wrote.

Shannon Lugdon / Facebook

In other words, intervening in this baby moose’s afternoon might have long-term repercussions on Miss Maggie’s ability to fend for herself, but the baby continued to cry loudly. Was there nothing Shannon could do?

Against her instincts, Shannon left Miss Maggie alone. The 24-hour period passed, and on Sunday morning, she couldn’t find a trace of the little girl. So she let her German shepherd, Leo, out onto the grounds. That was when the moose encounter turned truly spectacular.

Leo strutted around the campgrounds only to stumble across Miss Maggie by accident! Yup, it turned out the moose hadn’t been picked up by mom in those passing hours. And Leo, curious dog that he was, wasted no time in checking her out.

Shannon Lugdon / Facebook

But the interaction didn’t stop at a brief encounter; Leo and Miss Maggie came face to face and then nose to nose! “He walked right over,” Shannon wrote, “and Miss Maggie and Leo became fast friends!” Even better, the day’s friendships had only begun to blossom.

For the rest of that Sunday morning, Miss Maggie “followed us around all day begging for attention,” Shannon wrote. And after leaving her be for 24 hours, the Lugdon family was happy to give in…

Each member of the family posed for a photo with the six-day-old, 27-pound moose that’d wandered so helplessly onto the campground, giving her all the motherly love she’d been missing out on. Miss Maggie loved it.

Shannon Lugdon / Facebook

With the imaginary barrier between human and moose broken thanks to a curious dog, Shannon launched into full-on mother mode. ” I fed her…a grass, clover, water milkshake,” she wrote. Then, she called the veterinarian.

The veterinarian recommended feeding her Lactaid, so Shannon obliged. Meanwhile, she reveled in the moose’s unwavering kindness toward her, her family, and Leo the dog. “You can’t imagine how affectionate she was,” she wrote.

Shannon Lugdon / Facebook

Later that afternoon, the wardens Adrian and Nick returned. Without the return of the mother, they could now, unfortunately, safely conclude Miss Maggie had been abandoned. This was a sad moment—but a great opportunity.

The wardens arranged for Amanda DeMusz, below, a biologist with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife who’d dealt with a number of abandoned animals, to pick up Miss Maggie and bring her to the Maine Wildlife Park…

Portland Press Herald

There, caretakers could give her all she needed to grow up big and strong — not a bad fate for an abandoned baby moose, who would spend the rest of her life dreaming of the dog that showed her friendship, and of rescue organizations that showed her compassion.

Rescue organizations like Dallas DogRRR, which had one mission: find a home for every unwanted, broken, or abandoned dog in the Dallas, Texas, area. Far from the mooses of Maine, rescuers had seen a lot of dogs through the years — but never a pooch like Pittie.

Dallas DogRRR / Facebook

When Dallas DogRRR rescuers first found the pit bull, she was wandering along a dangerous road in southeast Dallas. Avoiding the cars barreling down the pavement was actually the least of her problems…

Dallas DogRRR Rescue.Rehab.Reform / Facebook

Half-starved, Pittie just looked weak. When rescuers placed some food in a bowl for her, she wasted no time digging in. How long had she been on her own? How long had it been since she’d eaten? Apparently, she’d suffered more than starvation…

Dallas DogRRR Rescue.Rehab.Reform / Facebook

Across her nose, Pittie bore a nasty scrape. This, like her feverish appetite, only presented more questions about this dog’s background. Clearly, she’d been missing the love and care that any pet needed. Then, rescuers noticed something else about her…

Dallas DogRRR Rescue.Rehab.Reform / Facebook

“It looks like she just had puppies,” one of the rescuers commented. “So they were probably taken away from her.” Had this poor mother pit bull lost her chance at rearing her kids? The realization had barely sunk in when rescuers received even more shocking news…

Dallas DogRRR Rescue.Rehab.Reform / Facebook

Having found Pittie near a junkyard, rescuers learned that one of the men working there had seen the pit bull hanging around a certain spot in the back. Was this where she’d left her puppies? Well, not quite…

Dallas DogRRR Rescue.Rehab.Reform / Facebook

The junkyard worker led the rescuers to the back of the lot, where they found a little bundle of fur resting in a patch of dirt in the shade. But it wasn’t a pit bull puppy at all…

Dallas DogRRR Rescue.Rehab.Reform / Facebook

It was a kitten! Rescuers learned that, at just two days old, this little kitty’s mother had abandoned her, possibly because of health defects. Well, guess who’d found her then?

Dallas DogRRR Rescue.Rehab.Reform / Facebook

A new mother herself, Pittie had apparently found the perfect outlet for her untapped maternal instincts! The minute she spotted her adoptive baby, the abandoned pit bull instinctively sniffed and licked the newborn. She’d been doing a lot for the tiny kitten…

Dallas DogRRR Rescue.Rehab.Reform / Facebook

Pittie had been nursing the kitten, providing her the milk she needed to survive in a junkyard. Pittie and Kitty had found each other in their dark times, and rescuers were understandably amazed.

Dallas DogRRR Rescue.Rehab.Reform / Facebook

The rescuers who found Pittie and Kitty brought the pair back to the Dallas Mercy Animal Clinic for inspection, and even veterinarian Dr. Rick Hamlin couldn’t believe the pairing. “Over my 28-year career, I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.

Mercy Animal Clinic / Facebook

Dr. Hamlin theorized how the two came together: “My best guess is that the mother pit bull had a litter of pups and they died or weaned and she still had milk,” he said. “The pit bull probably found [the abandoned kitten] and took it as her own.”

Mercy Animal Clinic / Facebok

Lucky as this chance pairing was, the rescuers’ timing proved even luckier: Pittie’s milk had run out. She wouldn’t have been able to care for Kitty any longer, meaning the feline wouldn’t have survived had the pair not been found when they were!

Mercy Animal Clinic / Facebook

Not surprisingly, Pittie and Kitty stole the hearts of everyone at the clinic. Unfortunately, Kitty needed a lot of attention. Pressed for time, the clinic found a home that could give the kitten the extra care she needed—though it meant separating her from her adoptive mama.

Dallas DogRRR – Rescue.Rehab.Reform / Facebook

Right away, Pittie hated being without her baby. “When I took Kitty out of the cage, Pittie started howling,” Dr. Hamlin said. “It was the first vocalization she made since she arrived.” Luckily, they weren’t separated for too long…

When caretakers returned Kitty to the clinic the next morning, Pittie, bursting with happiness, “cleaned and cleaned and cleaned her.” At that point, rescuers devised a plan to have Pittie and Kitty adopted as a unit. But then, out of nowhere, tragedy struck.

Mercy Animal Clinic / Facebook

Dr. Hamlin hadn’t noticed it at first, but Kitty suffered from a malformation in her kidneys and bladder—likely the reason her mother abandoned her in the first place. Despite Dr. Hamlin’s efforts, Kitty couldn’t be saved…

Mercy Animal Clinic / Facebook

Kitty passed away before the clinic could find a home for her and Pittie. How Pittie took this development was unknown, but needless to say, the mama pit bull probably noticed her adopted kitten’s absence. Could she ever have a happy life after that?

Though it was without Kitty at her side, Pittie eventually found a forever home where she received all the food and love she could ever want. Her new family already owned a few dogs, too, so Pittie fit right in!

Mercy Animal Clinic / Facebook

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