Inter-species friends

Source: Cute Overload.

Inter-species friends are my favorite, favorite thing in the whole wide world. Animals playing with different animals! This thrills me to my core and I become like a six-year-old girl whenever I see an example of this, the most glorious feature of life on planet Earth.

I recently watched the 1988 film adaptation of “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” (featuring a rakish Daniel Day-Lewis and a perfect Juliette Binoche). The couple, Tomas and Tereza, adopt a puppy (played by a totally charming Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen) and name her Karenin, after the novel they were reading when they first met. After the Soviets invade Prague, Tomas, Tereza, and Karenin flee to a farm in the Czech countryside, where Karenin befriends the farmer’s beloved pig, Mefisto. The scenes of Karenin and Mefisto just lounging together in the grass, the dog lovingly sniffling the pig… ah! My favorite. I wish I could find a screenshot to share with you. (M.C., I kept thinking about you and your canines in film project! This could be one for your review.)

Does your dog have a friend from another species? (Excepting yourself, of course.) In the examples I’ve seen of dogs and cats living together peaceably, it seems that the cat is most definitely the overlord and the dog understands his or her place as the humble serf. And maybe “friendship” is too generous a term there, but coexistence is still heartwarming between a pair so often painted as eternal enemies. I really, really hope our future dog makes some inter-species friends, although this seems less likely with a German shepherd, who seem to want to chase and strangle most things that move…

Musings aside, here are some more examples of inter-species snorgling, because I can’t help myself! Dogs, being friends with other animals, as featured on the matchless Cute Overload:

Puppy and cheetah friends! Cute Overload.
Puppy and budgie friends! Cute Overload.
Corgi and imprinting ducklings! Cute Overload.
Hound and orangutan friends! Cute Overload.
Dog and bear cub friends! Cute Overload.
Dog and iguana friends! Cute Overload.
Dog and baby bun friends! OMG. Cute Overload.
You may not touch the dog. Puppy and monkey friends! Cute Overload.

OK. I have to stop. I need to go do something with my life, because I could do this for hours and hours on end…

Pup links and a soapbox

A Kennel of Dogs print, by Woop Studios. Source: Design Sponge

Studying Kids and Pet Allergies. This is a confirming study–apparently, if you’re born into a home with dogs, you’re less likely to develop a pet dander allergy later in life. (The Bark blog)

Custom Dog Stamps by Kozue. I love stamps, woodcuts, and dogs. So, I guess I need one of these stamps. (Dog Milk)

Siro Twist Pet Bed. This bed is so attractive and designer-friendly. Too bad it’s $460. Because you know if you bought your dog a $460 bed, he’d never sleep in it and prefer the pile of old towels by the back door. (Pawesome)

Holy Imprinting! Imprinting is always totally adorable. Especially when it involves a Pembroke Welsh corgi and two yellow ducklings. (Cute Overload)

Not Enough Time. I would just like to add my rousing agreement to this post from the Inu-Baka blog–and step up on a brief soapbox. I am always astounded by people who bring dogs into their lives with seemingly little thought to how much time dogs need and deserve. Clearly, as the writer here points out, you can have a full-time job AND be a great dog owner. If you say that your full-time job keeps you from caring for your dog, you don’t care enough about your dog. And you should never have gotten a dog in the first place. For anything that we prioritize in our lives, we will make time for it. I make time for my husband because he matters to me. I make time to read because I love to read. I will make time for my dog because I will love my dog and want what’s best for him.

I once heard a new dog owner talk about how dogs were so much better than children because “unlike kids, you can leave a dog in a crate for 12 hours and it’ll be fine.” I think my mouth fell open. No, that dog will NOT be fine! This is borderline animal abuse. And yet so many people think this is an acceptable way to “live” with a dog.

I always get a little nervous when people come into the SPCA looking for dogs as “companions” for their young children. I feel like many parents believe that dogs come pre-programmed to be a child’s best friend. Nothing could be further from the truth. The great “Lassie”-like dogs you see are great because of extensive training, attention, and care. So many people adopt cute puppies for their kids and then, less than a year later, those same puppies are back in the shelter–confused and abandoned–because people were totally clueless about how much attention and time a puppy needs.

Judge your schedule very carefully before bringing a dog into your home. This is something I tell other people and I tell myself regularly. Adopting a dog is not a carefree or temporary commitment. Don’t get a dog if you will abandon it a year later. Dogs deserve better.