Achieving Balance and Harmony

THE SCOOP

Amazing animal photos of the unlikely animal friends

Scientists have debated for years whether dogs are capable of love and other supposedly human emotions. Researchers have discovered that these are core emotions controlled from the lower part of the brain, which is common to other animals. And it has been shown that both dogs and humans have rising levels of the hormone oxytocin when they’re engaged happily with each other.

Animal behaviorist Karen Overall even believes that after thousands of years of selective breeding designed to create a close bond between human and dog, dogs’ brains now share a similar neurochemistry with ours. Marc Bekoff, author of Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals, spent thousands of hours observing dogs as well as wolves and coyotes and is convinced they possess both empathy and compassion.

We may not be scientists, but when we look at the pictures below, it’s pretty obvious to us!

Lab Mom to Orphaned Rabbits

Koa, a 6-year-old Lab, was chasing lizards in the backyard of her San Francisco home when she discovered three orphaned baby rabbits in a nest in the dirt. Ever since, owner Tina Case says, Koa has taken on the role of mom to the two survivors. “They hop all over her and always find their way to the crook of her legs, where it is warm and sheltered. Koa has never been a mother, and these are like her puppies.” As soon as they’re big enough, Tina says, she plans to release the rabbits back into the wild.

Stunning Bond Between Cheetah and Dog

Sanurra, a cheetah cub at Wildlife Safari in Winston, OR, has no siblings to keep her company in captivity—so from the age of 5 months she has been paired with Ellie, an Anatolian Shepherd. The two have formed an unlikely friendship. In Africa, the Anatolian Shepherd has been used to keep cheetahs away from cattle herds—and thus farmers have no need to kill the predators. But in captivity the two have created a mutual support system.

Bear and Dog BFF

Bears and dogs are natural enemies. But someone forgot to tell these two, who were caught by wildlife photographer Norbert Rosing near Churchill, Manitoba. Rosing was at a kennel where 40 Canadian Eskimo sled dogs were being kept when a polar bear showed up. The other dogs were barking furiously as the bear approached, but one, named Hudson, “calmly stood his ground and began wagging his tail.” Next the two animals were gently touching noses and apparently trying to make friends. The bear kept returning for several days to “play.”

Barking Parakeet

Paddle Pop is a rescued Maltese cross with an unusual buddy—a bad-tempered parakeet! But according to owner Susie Taylor, of Melbourne, Australia, Paddle Pop has been a great influence on her feathered pet, Angus, and has helped calm him down. Angus, meanwhile, has learned to mimic Paddle Pop’s bark. So when he wants to get the dog’s attention he barks for him!

Corgi Protects Ducklings

Yogi, a 5-year-old Corgi, was fascinated by the ducklings his owner Frances Marsh brought home from a garden center in Atlantic Beach, NC. “They were in a little box, and he just leaned his head over and licked them!” But it seems the ducklings were more fascinated with Yogi—who took the place of their mom—and they started to follow him everywhere. Frances says Yogi sleeps by the ducklings’ box and herds them by gently pushing them with his nose. Experts describe the ducklings behavior as “imprinting”—transferring the natural instinct to follow their mother to another human or animal who steps into the role.

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