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Dog Gives Birth To Newborn Pups At Tampa International

Dorathy Gass

Now this is a DOGgone heartwarming story coming out of Tampa, Florida. While most are aware that women who are pregnant often fall under a flying restriction once they hit 36 weeks, dogs are a very different story. Which leads us to a surprisingly sweet travel story around the arrival of eight little puppies at the Tampa International Airport recently.

Service dog, Eleanor “Elle” Rigby was flying to Philadelphia from Tampa last week with her owner Diane Van Atter, when the female golden retriever service dog, went into labor moments after boarding their flight. Aircraft Rescue Firefighters (ARFF) were called in to assist with the delivery.

Still, two-year-old Elle was in very good hands regardless, as a nurse happened to be around as well. In fact, the nurse helped to deliver five of Elle’s puppies before she hopped aboard a flight of her own.

And just like many human deliveries, Elle didn’t give birth within seconds. In fact, the entire ordeal took about four hours when all was said and done.

In the end, Travelweek reported that one female and seven males were welcomed into the world, and the dad of the pups, Golden Nugget, a yellow lab, also happened to be at the airport. Reports indicate that proud papa could be seen jumping around excitedly during delivery; momma Ellie was seen resting on the terminal floor after the delivery, nursing her hungry newborn pups.

As per an airport representative, while the owner knew Elle was pregnant, she wasn’t sure on how far along she was. As per reports, since Van Atter and her daughter missed the flight to Philadelphia, the plan now is to drive there, which is about 1,000 miles, along with the entire doggy family in the eight furry newborns, Golden Nugget, and Elle.

That should make for an interesting road trip, to say the least.