The story of Maggie, the would-be mother dog who escaped from her kennel to comfort crying puppies, has gone viral over the last week.
Security cameras at the Barker's Pet Hotel and Grooming in St. Albert, just north of Edmonton, recorded Maggie, an an Australian shepherd cross, wriggling out of her cage and looking for a pair of rescue puppies brought in earlier that day.
When Barker's owner Sandi Aldred returned to the kennel, she let Maggie in to meet the puppies and snapped a picture of the three animals cuddling. She then posted the picture to the kennel's Facebook page and warmed hearts around the world.
Nearly a week later, people are still gushing all over the story — including Maggie's owner, Grant Harty.
Harty checked Maggie in to Barker's pet hotel, while he and his wife went to Mexico for a week. They had no idea that by the time they returned, their canine companion would be a local hero.
When they returned to pick Maggie up, Aldred told them she needed to talk to them about their dog.
"We thought, 'Oh boy, what did Maggie do?' "
"She goes, 'I have to show you this video', then all of a sudden it's this heartfelt video that she shows us. It was touching."
Story picked up by CNN, ABC, People
The story of Maggie and the puppies has been picked up by several news outlets south of the border, including ABC News, People Magazine and CNN.
A video of Maggie's escape posted to the CBC News Facebook page has been viewed more than 700,000 times.
"Our Facebook page did the same thing," Aldred said. "It just got out of control. We thought it was a cute little story that we'd put on, because our clients really enjoy seeing the dogs, knowing the funny things that they do when they're here.
"We certainly didn't expect this kind of reaction to it. It's pretty amazing."
"The exposure is phenomenal," said Harty, who brought Maggie back to Barker's on Wednesday to say hello.
"We sit and we watch and see all of these hits and likes," he said. "It just goes to show that a heartfelt story really touches a lot of people."
Anna Cain, who also works at the pet hotel with her mother Sandi, still can't believe their dog story has spread so quickly.
"Initially, someone was like, 'Oh, a thousand likes, maybe you'll get on TV,' " Cain said. "I didn't actually think anything of it, then the calls started coming and it's been crazy. It's been a busy couple of days."
While Maggie's time with the rescue puppies is now likely at its, end, the story still has a happy ending.
Aldred has two prospective owners lined up for the puppies Maggie comforted, and said they could both be in their forever homes by the end of the week.