The state of affairs in America has been pretty grim as of late, so if you're in need of a little pick-me-up, be sure to check out these adorable photos of a mama duck parading her baby ducklings through a nursing home. The sweetest part? A mama duck makes an appearance in the facility every single year.
It doesn't get much cuter than a group of baby ducklings, a sentiment the University of Rochester Medicine Thompson Health's Facebook page reminded people of on Thursday, May 16 when it shared photos of a mama duck leading her brood of 13 ducklings through the facility's nursing home, the M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center.
Thompson Health shared on Facebook that each year, a mama duck lays her eggs in one of the nursing home's courtyards. Once spring arrives, the mama lets the employees know she's ready to leave with her newly hatched kiddos.
"Every year, without fail, a mama duck chooses one of the enclosed courtyards at our M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center to lay her eggs and take care of her babies," the heartwarming post reads. "She lets us know when she's ready to go by tapping on the glass, and this morning, it was time for this annual rite of spring."
Where do I even begin with all of this cuteness? First off, I think it's beyond adorable that the mama ducks have perfected the art of communicating with the facility's employees. And in that vein, I love how the staff members relish in this tradition, supporting the mama duck and her ducklings in their journey.
"Assistant Nurse Manager Betsy Willard held the door for the mama and her 13 babies," one of the photo's caption reads.
But arguably my favorite part about the whole thing is the joy this ritual has brought to the facility's residents.
"CNA Mollie Dey, left, and Wilma Gibson, center, joined Willard outside to see the ducks off," Thompson Health captioned one touching snap.
Yep, here come the tears. There's just something so healing and special about animals, right?
Facebook commenters touched on this feeling when responding to the post, thanking the staff members for including the residents in this special experience.
"That's our Mom!" one person commented. "So glad she was able to take part!!"
Someone else said: "Every happy moment is treasured in my heart for our elders."
"I don't know Wilma, but I love that she got to have that experience," another commenter penned.
On a more scientific note, animals can have a profound effect on a person's health and overall well-being. Petting an animal, for instance, can lower your blood pressure and induce a relaxation hormone, according to WebMD. Although Thompson Health's residents didn't pet the ducks (it was best to leave them be), I have a feeling the experience was a calming and therapeutic one for everyone involved.
That being said, here's to the sweet mama duck and her 13 ducklings who brought joy to the M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center this spring.