Pekingese Nurses Abandoned Kitten

09/26/2012 at 04:30 PM EDT

Pekingese Nurses Abandoned Kitten
Jeff Baenen/AP
When Pat Weber's grandson discovered a tiny newborn kitten, cold and near death in the family's pole barn, their dog Mittens showed concern for the animal.

"My dog Mittens came running over and was jumping up, trying to see what it was," Weber told the AP. "And I put it down on the floor and she started licking it, and turning it over and looking all over – just mothering it like crazy."

Her reaction wasn't surprising, since the 4-year-old Pekingese had her own litter of pups two years before and was a "born mother," according to Weber, who lives in Jordan, Minn.

But when the kitten started suckling on the dog and received milk, Weber was in disbelief.

"I took her to the vet and she had milk," she told the AP. "And I said, 'How did that happen?' And he said, 'Well, hormones are strange.'"

Weber calls it "a miracle."

The adorable gray kitten, now named Bootsie, has been nursed back to health by the caring pooch and the pair is inseparable.

"As far as she's concerned, it's her [baby]," Weber said. "And as far as the kitten is concerned, this is her mother."

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