In Palenque, Mexico, a tiny tent with a Nativity scene was set up in the town’s main square. It has the usual assortment of Christmas miniatures posed in tranquil quiet.
However, they have recently been joined by an unexpected guest.
A loving stray dog apparently observed the Navity scene earlier this week — and chose to take the manger within it as her own.
However, it turned out that she was not alone.
Eric Guzmán, a local journalist, was among the first to see the dog, curled up within the straw-lined exhibit. But, like the fabled figures shown in the Nativity scene, she hadn’t picked the location to just rest.
Guzmán discovered the dog had recently given birth to a brood of small puppies upon closer observation.
She seems to have chosen the manger as a secure location to birth her infants since she had no other choice.
“I was astounded and delighted to find that she had her puppies in a sheltered spot where they wouldn’t get wet or cold,” Guzmán said in an interview. “It’s been cold recently in Palenque, but it’s generally hot all year.”
The apparent meaning of the dogs’ presence there has not gone unnoticed by the community.
Guzmán began spreading the news about the dog and her puppies in the manger, and since then, many from Palenque have made the trek to view them for themselves, some bringing food and drink for the small family.
Even local officials have stepped in, determining that the mother dog and her babies may stay.
Meanwhile, aside from allusions to holiness, animal advocates from Dejando Huellitas S.O.S. Palenque have stepped in to guarantee that the canines are cared for now and in the future.
They’ve already started looking for homes for the puppies once the holidays are over.
The birth of pups within the Nativity scene manger isn’t exactly a miracle for Guzmán, but he thinks it will leave a lasting legacy.
“Hopefully, as citizens, we will become more aware of dogs and will adopt strays [rather than buy pets],” Guzmán remarked. “We should love dogs regardless of where they come from.”