Dog’s Best (and sometimes unlikely) Friends

They say dog is man’s best friend but who is the dog’s best friend? Well there have been plenty of cute stories out there about dogs becoming best friends with dolphins, owls, fish and even elephants! These canine-animal bonds might seem odd to us but are often unbreakable to the animals that have forged them. Friendship is defined as “a relationship between two people who hold mutual affection for each other.” However, the connection that some of the animals below possess with each other may go much further than just mutual affection. Some of these amazing bonds are lifelong commitments that truly inspire.

In 2008, a piglet was born weighing less than a pound and could not open its eyes. Seeing that the pigs hope for survival was slim, the owner, Johanna Kerby, took the piglet to her dachshund dog that had just given birth to puppies a little while before. Well, the rest as they say is history. The dachshund, Tink loved the little pig and accepted him immediately, even licking the piglet all over to clean him!

The pig was lovingly adopted into the Dachshund family and nursed to health by his new canine mother; he never chose to return to his pig family. His brothers are now canine and that’s how it will stay. To read more about Tink and her piglet, visit Piglet and dachshund .

Another well known story of unique animal friendship is the story of an elephant named Tarra and a dog named Bella. While it is common for elephants to seek out a partner, mate or friend to spend their life with, it is not as common for them to select a dog! “Bella knows she’s not an elephant. Tarra knows she’s not a dog,” says elephant sanctuary co-founder, Carol Buckley says. “But that’s not a problem for them.” These two are inseparable; they eat together, sleep together and play together (maybe we should send them an extra large Hol-ee Roller toy, they would have a blast). Their difference in size doesn’t even seem to bother Tarra or Bella, they have it all worked out! If you want to learn more about these two head on over to Tarra and Bella.

A story that may hit close to home for many of you is that of the blind dog, Cashew and her “seeing eye cat,” Libby.  These 2 lived together for most of their lives with little interaction until Cashew turned 12 and began to lose her eyesight; suddenly Libby stepped in to help. It was Libby who helped to guide Cashew to her should eat, sleep and play areas. It’s as if Libby knew that Cashew needed the help and who better to help the family dog than the family house cat? According to their owner, Terry Burns, “They only got closer and closer as time went on.” Now this cat deserves a reward; maybe some JW Cataction Cat Toys! What fun she would have with our Rattle Ball, perfect for paw-swatting fun and it has noise so Cashew will always know where she is!

So is it common for dogs to form bonds with animals that are different species? “Given the right set of circumstances, and the right animals, they can form close and lasting relationships,” says John Wright, Ph.D., a certified applied animal behaviorist and professor of psychology at Mercer University in Macon, GA. Wright goes on to say that “even unlikely animal friendships can endure if both animals belong to a social species”. Well that is certainly the case with the animals in the book Unlikely Friendships. This book by Jennifer S. Holland is a wonderful compilation of stories and photos of animals with unlikely friends. It will truly warm your heart.

To hear more about these special animal relationships go to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33485224/ns/health-pet_health/t/unlikely-friends-why-we-love-odd-animal-pairs/#.T_3Nu5GT7IU .

Do you have pets that are friends and are different species? What is the most unusual animal relationship that you have seen?

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