People Spot Dog In Nativity Scene Manger — Then Realize She's Not Alone

“I was awestruck" 💕

Last year, in Palenque, Mexico, a quaint Nativity scene was put on display within a small tent in the town’s main square. It featured the typical array of holiday figurines posed in peaceful silence.

But not long after being set in place, they were joined by someone unexpected.

Dejando Huellitas S.O.S. Palenque

Days after being constructed, a sweet stray dog evidently noticed the Navity scene — and decided to claim the manger within it as her own.

Turns out, however, she was not alone.

Eric Guzmán

Local journalist Eric Guzmán was among the first to spot the pup there, curled up inside the straw-lined display. But much like the storied characters the Nativity scene depicts, she hadn’t chosen the spot to merely relax.

Upon closer inspection, Guzmán realized that the dog had recently given birth to a litter of tiny puppies.

It seems, having no better option available, she’d picked the manger as a safe place to have her babies.

Eric Guzmán

“I was awestruck, and at the same time joyful seeing that she had her puppies in a safe place where they won’t get wet or cold,” Guzmán told The Dodo. “It’s been cold lately in Palenque, but it’s usually hot throughout the year.”

The seeming symbolism of the dogs’ presence there wasn't lost on the community.

Dejando Huellitas S.O.S. Palenque

Guzmán began spreading the word about the dog and her puppies in the manger, and after that, many people from Palenque made the pilgrimage to see them firsthand — some bearing gifts of food and water for the young family.

Even local officials got involved, deciding that the mother dog and her puppies would be allowed to stay.

Dejando Huellitas S.O.S. Palenque

Meanwhile, allusions of holiness aside, animal advocates from Dejando Huellitas S.O.S. Palenque stepped in to ensure that the dogs would be cared for over the years to come.

"The dog and her puppies were given up for adoption. They finally have a family!" a spokesperson for the group told The Dodo. "We named the mom Mili, a short name for Milagros, which means Miracle."

Dejando Huellitas S.O.S. Palenque

For Guzmán, the birth of puppies inside the Nativity scene manger wasn't quite a miracle — but he hopes Mili and her puppies will leave a lasting legacy regardless.

Dejando Huellitas S.O.S. Palenque

“Hopefully, we as citizens will become more aware when it comes to dogs, to adopt strays [rather than buy dogs],” Guzmán said. “We should love dogs, no matter where they come from."