These baby opossums were orphaned when their mother was killed by a dog in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They were found by Stephanie Maldonado, a dog trainer, who tried to save them, but it didn’t look good for the four joeys; they were so little that they had yet to open their eyes.

And that’s when Maldonado’s dog, Pretinha, came to the rescue. She began to nurse them, and soon, the joeys had gained enough strength to climb onto Pretinha’s back. She even gave them piggy-back rides!

“It’s very nice to see all the care that she has with them, licking them all the time and nestling them,” Maldonado wrote on Facebook. When the joeys are older, she hopes to return them to the wild.

More info: Facebook (h/t: thedodo)

Meet Pretinha, the happy joey mom

These little critters were orphaned when their mother was attacked by a dog

Their chances of survival were slim until Pretinha stepped in

Soon, the joeys regained their strength…

…and even started going for piggy-back rides!

Watch the video below to see opossums take a ride: