CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – One shelter dog in Carrollton is proving the mantra of ‘you can’t choose your family’ wrong.

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Faline, a nursing longhaired Chihuahua and Pomeranian mix, has adopted an additional offspring. And she looks nothing like her mama.

“We tried to hand feed her, she was so weak,” said Sandi Laird of Operation Kindness, an animal shelter just outside of Dallas.

“We were just trying to keep her warm. She was not in real good shape. I said, ‘You know what, this kitten is not gonna live without a real mother to nurture her’.”

Onyx, a kitten, weighed only a few grams when she was rescued.

But there were no nursing cats at the shelter to feed her.

That same day Laird was called to another shelter to retrieve Faline her five newborn puppies, which sparked an unusual thought.

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“I thought, oh my gosh, we have the puppy, let’s try her! So I took the puppy and rubbed it all over her to get its scent. After two to three minutes, she just started cuddling it up and kissing it and licking it and doing everything a mother is supposed to do for a newborn,” Laird said.

As Faline and Onyx continued to bond, the shelter reached out to foster parents Eron and Jamie Linver, two of 98 trained “fosters,” as they’re called, on the roster at Operation Kindness.

The couple was already fostering a blind Schnauzer for the shelter in addition to caring for two dogs of their own.

“At first they called and asked if we’d take a dog with puppies, and we said yes,” said Eron.
”Then they called back 20 minutes later and said there was also a kitten, and if we’d still be comfortable with that. And we said yes. ‘Cause we were pretty exited about it.”

So far the entire blended brood is one happy family.

“It’s been neat,” explained foster mom Jamie. “I like to watch the kittens grow and watch puppies grow with her and see them interact as they get older. It’s nothing we’ve ever seen before. It’s a unique experience.”

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Operation Kindness says the puppies and kitten will be available for adoption once they’re eight weeks old.