Lonely Planet Writer

A service dog gave birth to eight adorable puppies at a US airport

Air travel can be full of surprises, but one airport probably wasn’t expecting a litter of puppies to enter the world next to a boarding gate.

A family in the US was travelling with their service dogs from Tampa, Florida, when one of the pups unexpectedly went into labour, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The owner  of the dog, Diane Van Atter, was waiting for a flight back to Philadelphia with her two golden retrievers. The pregnant dog, named Eleanor Rigby, starting giving birth to her puppies unexpectedly while they waited.

Luckily, the crew at Tampa Fire Rescue showed up to help bring the new puppies into the world – and tweet photos throughout the process. By the end, there were eight pups in total, seven males and one female. The puppies’ father, a retriever named Golden Nugget, was there looking on, as well as plenty of travellers who were probably quite surprised with the unusual spectacle.

Naturally, the dogs – and their human companions – did not catch their flight. Instead, the Times reports that they will be making the drive back to Philadelphia with the dogs. With eight more dogs that expected, they might be in need of a bit of advice on how to travel with dogs.