Candy had had babies in the past, but she wasn't pregnant, and she certainly didn't have puppies at the time. So the Merrifields were astonished when Candy, days later, started producing milk.
"Candy is interested in most animals who come to Daktari," Ian explains, "but we were shocked to see that she'd actually started producing milk. The only way we could explain it was that her motherly instincts had kicked in."
According to veterinarian Dr. Honorata Lenk Markham, who works at Oaklawn Animal Hospital in Rhode Island, this is exactly what happened. "For one reason or another, maternal hormones get activated including oxytocin, the hormone that produces milk," Dr. Markham tells The Dodo. "In this case, the dog felt a strong connection to the babies, which then must have started a hormonal cascade in her body that resulted in her adopting the animals as her own. I often see dogs adopting stuffed animals. They protect them, nurture them and often produce milk for them."