Service dog gives birth to eight puppies at Tampa airport in "magical" moment

It's no doubt a vacation to remember! 

Eleanor Rigby -- known affectionately as Ellie by her owners -- unexpectedly gave birth before boarding her flight to Philly at the Tampa Airport. The two-year-old Labrador retriever welcomed eight puppies, one girl and seven boys right at the gate, alongside puppy daddy Nugget. Both Nugget and Ellie are service dogs.

Her owner Diane Van Atter knew the pup was expecting, but didn't realize how close Ellie was to giving birth. But when the time came, spectators, including a nurse, jumped into action to help. They were quickly joined by staff from the Tampa Fire Rescue. Lt. Natalie Brown was one of the first to respond to the situation, calling the moment "magical."

She explained to TODAY: "I got my (obstetrics and gynecology) kit. I wanted to move the dog to a quieter area, but the owner was concerned about moving her so I said, 'No problem.' It was an incredible moment." Travelers were so moved that many of them were ready to miss their flights as to witness the moment.

Photos of the incredible story were shared to Twitter by the Tampa Fire Rescue. "We’re a full-service department!" they joked.

RELATED: Breeds that don't shed 

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Dog breeds that don't shed
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Dog breeds that don't shed
POODLE
Just six breeds on Earth are more popular than the venerable poodle, which come in three variations: toy, miniature and standard. Smart, active, and remarkably obedient, poodles are hypoallergenic and they rarely shed. Their dense coats, however, require significant professional grooming -- especially if you want the elaborate patterning that wins dog shows.
AUSTRALIAN SILKY TERRIER
For dogs with such long, flowing coats, silky terriers shed surprisingly little -- and they're also refreshingly easy to groom and maintain. Since their hair is so long, it is prone to tangling and matting, so don't use infrequent shedding as an excuse to neglect a good brushing two or three times a week.
SALUKI

Statuesque, dignified and loyal, the Saluki is built for hunting and endurance running. They can be smooth or coated and they come in a variety of colors. No matter which version you end up with, shedding is light and infrequent, and Salukis require just modest grooming.

LAGOTTO ROMAGNOLO

The coat of a Lagotto Romagnolo is so dense and woolly that looking at their faces makes you wonder how they could possibly see what's in front of them. But their curly double coats of fur actually shed very infrequently -- and they're hypoallergenic. They're generally easy going, medium-sized dogs, and they can be counted on to be energetic, but not hyper.

AFFENPINSCHER

Take one look at the affenpinscher and you'll know why the American Kennel Club has nicknamed it the "monkey dog." Its primate cuteness is complemented by the minimal, seasonal shedding of its wiry coat. They don't need a lot of grooming, but schedule in two weekly brushings and combings, as well as two yearly trimmings.

PORTUGUESE WATER DOG

Athletic and energetic, Portuguese water dogs live up to their names -- they can swim for extended periods of time without tiring. Their coats are both waterproof and hypoallergenic. They can be wavy or curly, but either way, they shed very little and only seasonally. Keep in mind, however, that the American Kennel Club describes their coats as "profuse" -- so grooming demands can be significant.

BASENJI

This medium-sized African hunting dog has short, fine hair that requires only minimal, infrequent grooming. Alert and energetic, the basenji is one of the top 100 most popular breeds, and that probably has something to do with the peace and quiet that comes with owning one -- basenjis don't bark.

KOMONDOR

If you've ever seen a walking mop that looks like it's on its way to a reggae concert, that's a komondor. The defining characteristic of this brave and loyal Hungarian work dog is its trademark long, dense, corded coat, which protects it from weather and animal attacks. Underneath all those dreads, however, is a large, powerful dog that can grow to more than 100 pounds. They shed only seasonally, but all that mop requires some work -- daily grooming is required.

IRISH WATER SPANIEL

The tallest among all American Kennel Club (AKC) spaniels, Irish water spaniels can stand 2 feet tall at the shoulders and weigh up to 65 pounds. Their waterproof coats are hypoallergenic, and they shed only minimally and seasonally. They're low maintenance, too. You can get away with brushing them just once every few weeks.

BOUVIER DES FLANDRES

Known for their courage and ability to send intruders packing, the Bouvier Des Flandres sheds only lightly and seasonally, but grooming can be a bit of a chore. Their constantly growing hair can quickly become matted and unclean if they aren't brushed regularly.

BEDLINGTON TERRIER

Is it as sheep? A lamb? Nope. It's a Bedlington terrier, and it's known for its gentle, charming personality and its cottony, hypoallergenic coat. Bedlingtons are easy to care for on a day-to-day basis. The tradeoff, however, is that they do require occasional professional trimming and other grooming.

BICHON FRISE

Translated literally from French, bichon frise means "fluffy white dog." The French didn't leave much to the imagination -- that description pretty much sums it up. Not only does the bichon frise rarely shed, but it's hypoallergenic. The fluffy white dog has hair, not fur, so that means you will have to brush it regularly to prevent matting.

AIREDALE TERRIER

The Airedale is the largest member of the terrier family, and they're defined as much by their powerful legs as they are by their cleverness. They're easy to maintain and they're extremely light shedders, but regular stripping and brushing definitely comes with the turf.

BOLOGNESE

Friendly, healthy, and easy to train, the small Bolognese breed produces vibrant dogs that rarely shed and are easy to groom -- as an added bonus, they tend not to drool. Part of the bichon family group, Bolognese get their name from the region of Italy to which they trace their centuries-old lineage.

SCHNAUZER

Both standard schnauzers and giant schnauzers are hypoallergenic, although giants can grow to nearly 100 pounds -- around double the weight of their smaller cousins. Since their coats are made not of fur, but of continuously growing hair, be prepared to strip or trim them regularly.

SOFT-COATED WHEATEN TERRIER

Topping out at about 40 pounds, the soft-coated Wheaten terrier has a stubborn streak common to terriers, but is generally a happy, loving -- and largely non-shedding -- animal. Known for their leaping, jumping greetings, Wheatens can be a handful when it comes to grooming. Expect to brush and comb twice a week and schedule baths and haircuts at least once a month.

BORDER TERRIER

Keen and intelligent, border terriers have full coats that could lead you to assume they shed relentlessly. They don't. The reality, however, is that these traditional working sheep dogs love the outdoors, and their long coats are magnets for dirt and debris. Don't worry about shedding, but do brush them regularly to make sure stuff that should be outside stays outside.

BRUSSELS GRIFFON

Dogs from the Brussels Griffon breed can come in a variety of colors and their coats can be either rough or smooth. No matter which variety you choose among this bearded breed from "As Good as it Gets" fame, you can count on it shedding only minimally and seasonally.

CAIRN TERRIER

Few breeds in history are more instantly recognizable than the Cairn terrier, which you know better as Toto from "The Wizard of Oz." It's recommended that you brush these curious, busy dogs regularly -- about once a week should do. But beyond that, you should expect just minimal seasonal shedding.

KERRY BLUE TERRIER

Statuesque and adorned with biker beards, Kerry blue terriers were bred to hunt, but they've evolved into popular show dogs and play-outside-all-day dogs. They're hypoallergenic and they shed infrequently, but human-dog bonding can be intensified through regular brushing.

CHINESE CRESTED

It's almost certain that you'll live your whole life and never confuse a Chinese crested with any other breed. These fine-boned toy dogs are either hairless or the powderpuff variety. If you fall in love with a hairless, you'll have to put in a little extra effort to prevent sunburn, cleanliness, and exposure to cold, but neither version of this dog, which is known to act more like a cat, comes with much grooming responsibility.

SCOTTISH TERRIER

Scotties are known for their dangling beards and brows, which give them their trademark expressions. Bred to hunt foxes and badgers, the Scottish terrier is compact and sturdy. They do require regular grooming to retain their unique appearance, but they shed only seasonally and minimally.

COTON DE TULEAR

Small and happy, the Coton De Tulear is a light, seasonal shedder with hypoallergenic qualities. Known as the royal dog of Madagascar, its dry, white, long, cottony coat does require brushing with a special pin brush to maintain its luster and volume.

AFGHAN HOUND

Afghan hounds are prized for their striking beauty, proud posture, and elegant long hair. Underneath it all, however, is an agile, athletic hound that can stand 27 inches tall and is built for work. They're hypoallergenic and they rarely shed, but don't think that will let you off the grooming hook — frequent brushing and bathing are part of having a relationship with an Afghan hound.

HAVANESE

The soft, silky coat of a Havanese -- which can come in 16 colors and eight markings -- rarely sheds and is perfect for people who suffer from allergies, although regular grooming is required. Slightly longer than they are tall, their undeniable cuteness lands them a spot among the 25 most popular breeds.

Lhasa Apso

The unmistakable coat of a Lhasa Apso parts down the middle from head to tail. Active but calm, they're popular show dogs and they tend to be very healthy. Another benefit is that they shed very infrequently. Their long coats, however, do require a lot of grooming.

MALTESE

The Maltese has a reputation as playful, affectionate and surprisingly fearless for its little size. The breed is most famous, however, for its long, elegant, white coat. They shed very lightly and infrequently -- but don't mistake that for low maintenance. Daily brushing and frequent grooming are required to maintain their trademark floor-length coats -- and yes, don't worry, there are feet under there somewhere.

XOLOITZCUINTLI

An interesting breed with an interesting name, the medium-sized Xoloitzcuintli -- often just called xolo -- is not just one of the rarest breeds, but also one of the oldest. Scientists believe its ancestors accompanied ours on their Ice Age journey across the Bering Strait. The hairless version is nearly naked, and the version with a coat has short, clean hair that rarely sheds, is hypoallergenic and requires only infrequent brushing.

AMERICAN HAIRLESS TERRIER

Feisty, fearless, and affectionate, the American hairless terrier actually isn't always hairless. Even the coated varieties, however, are hypoallergenic and rarely shed their short fur. A single weekly brushing with a soft-bristled brush should be enough.

PERUVIAN INCA ORCHID

Since the breed is hairless, shedding obviously won't be a problem with a Peruvian Inca Orchid. But intense and meticulous skin care is critical for the first year of the small dog's life. They'll pay you back, however, with affection, loyalty and hypoallergenic skin that is perfect for alleFrgy sufferers.

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