Well, I was trying to decide on what to write about... and then remembered... "Friendship Day" is just around the corner. So, what better topic to write about... than that! Though, we do not need a specific day to celebrate/remember this bond of friendship... but... nevertheless, it is an occasion to celebrate the greatest of all bonds (not James Bond... mind you!) Incidentally, in 1997, the United Nations named the chubby, lovable and immensely huggable Winnie the Pooh as the "World's Ambassador of Friendship".
We all are familiar with the story of the twin brothers, Romulus and Remus... the traditional/mythical founders of Rome, appearing in Roman mythology as the twin sons of the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia (daughter of the King, Numitor), fathered by the God of War, Mars... who were placed in a basket and thrown into the Tiber river. They were kept safe by the river deity Tiberinus, who made the basket... catch onto the roots of a fig tree, Ficus Ruminalis, growing in the Velabrum swamp, (which therefore, has a high symbolic significance). He then brought the infant twins up onto the Palatine Hill. There, they were nursed and raised by a she-wolf, Lupa in Latin. They were nurtured underneath a fig tree and were fed by a woodpecker named Picus. Both animals were sacred to Mars. The story of Romulus and Remus can be read in greater detail: here (Courtesy: Wikipedia)
However, I will not delve into mythology or the great epics here. In this post, I will write about some unusual friendships... of stories that I have come across recently... on the net. Each of these stories, truly goes on to prove... that friendship knows no boundaries... not even that of the species barrier...
1. Dog Mum for abandoned Panda cubs: Two red panda cubs abandoned by their mother at birth are thriving at a northern China zoo thanks to milk and loving care from an unlikely surrogate mother - a dog. The cubs, born on June 25 (2009), were abandoned immediately by their own mother (after giving birth in front of a crowd of visitors) at the Taiyuan Zoo in northern China's Shanxi province, according to Ha Guojiang, a zoo employee quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency.
"No one knew she was pregnant. Her plump body and bushy hair disguised her protruding belly until the babies were born,'' said Ha. "We hurriedly went about to find a wet nurse for them.'' Telephone calls to the Taiyuan zoo rang unanswered on Thursday. The dog wet nurse, belonging to a farmer from a nearby suburb, was selected from two other candidates that had recently given birth. The dog is now raising the two panda cubs like its own pups, sometimes even refusing to feed its own pups, said Ha, cited by Xinhua.
At 3-weeks-old, the baby cubs have yet to open their eyes and have doubled in length to 20 centimeters (8 inches), Xinhua reported. Unlike the more well-known, bear-like giant pandas, red pandas resemble raccoons with long bushy tails. There are believed to be fewer than 2,500 adult red pandas in the world.
Certainly, an endangered species... and the dog mum is doing her bit to help them survive. Just imagine the scene in your mind's eye... two tiny panda cubs snuggling up to a dog mum... it is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. The article can be read: here.
2. Hen adopts puppies: A hen in China has reportedly adopted two orphaned puppies after their mother died. Owner Cao Fengying, of Majiaqiao village, Jiashan town, says the hen was best friends with the mother dog. But the dog was poisoned just ten days after giving birth to the puppies, reports Today Morning. Cao said: "The hen and the dog had been friends for two years. They would never fight but just play together." The hen now looks after her adopted children, defending them if anyone approaches and letting them eat first at meal times. Amazing, isn't it... ?!! Such an endearing bond between the "hunter" and the "hunted"... where under natural circumstances, one is "food" for the other. Strange, indeed... are the ways of nature.
3. A dachshund mum for 'Pink': A dachshund is fostering this little guy for another mum who couldn't take care of him. He had his eyes closed until a few days ago, but now they are open. He is just a little bigger than her other pups. She loves this little guy as much as the other puppies and she is nursing him back to health. He is the cleanest pig-uppy (piggy + puppy) ever... because she licks him all the time. His name is Pink. Chooooo cute!!! Na... ?!!
To see more pics, please click on: this link.
4. Nothing fishy about it: A swan in a Chinese zoo feeds its fish friends every day - to the amazement of the visitors.
5. Deer me! Doggy mum for deer calf: This deer calf is safe and sound under the care of its doggy mum. Sheer bliss!
6. Bakery for dogs: A canine-only bakery selling a range of handmade dog biscuits and meaty cakes has opened in Germany. The Dog's Goodies bakery in the city of Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt, is a howling success, according to local dog owners. Former florist turned canine chef Janine Saraniti-Lagerin offers her doggy customers treats such as minty biscuits, muesli bars, tuna cakes and garlic cookies. She said: "Vets tell me what is healthy and my Labrador Ronja tells me what is tasty."
"Dog-owners come from far and wide to get treats here. Many international customers stop off here on their way to Frankfurt airport to pick up something special for their dog back home." Dogs brought to the shop are given a free tasting session, says Saraniti-Lagerin. Bow Wow to that!
7. Mommy cat for puppies: Animal Planet shows a mother cat who lost her kittens, taking a litter of puppies into her care... while the mother dog ignores her own pups, for whatever reason. Link, courtesy YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ndgx1onlDg
What a wonderful world God has created for us... with such inter-species harmony... among animals. How can we... human beings... "Homo sapiens sapiens"... ever say that they are 'inferior' to us... ??? We... the supposed 'superior and rational' beings... have a lot to learn from these animals. For sure!
8. 15 lucky pups being fed by two 'mothers': These lucky pups have landed on their feet after two dogs decided to share out the motherly duties. Pedigree Irish Setter Madyson gave birth to the 15 babies but before owner Julie Murray had a chance to clean the newborns, her other dog, Liliana, started to lend a hand. And when the pups started feeding, six-year-old surrogate mum Liliana, an English Setter, also began producing milk so she could share the load.
Julie, 53, from Waterlooville, Hampshire, said: "Madyson was giving birth so fast I didn't have time to wash them all, but Liliana was right there. She started cleaning them and looking after them and soon after began producing milk even though she wasn't pregnant - I was amazed. Normally the natural mum is really protective over her pups but the pair share feeding times."
"It's good news for me too because if Liliana wasn't there I would have to help and bottle feed some of the puppies because 15 is too many for a mother to look after. But with Liliana there I can just put my feet up - with 15 mouths to feed it's certainly a big help. The puppies are still very young so they haven't reached the mischievous stage. People think that Irish Setters are a bit mad but these puppies are actually very laid back and relaxed. When they get a little bit older they will be just as playful as any other breed of dog."
It's a lovely story to hear... of two dogs sharing their duties. Read more about this amazing story: HERE (includes pics as well... courtesy: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/)
Note: Some info... courtesy: Wikipedia. Point 3: Picture courtesy: http://www.petbrags.com/profiles/blogs/the-dachshund-and-pink-the-pig.
Point 6: Info courtesy: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2086638.html?menu=news.quirkies.animaltales. Picture courtesy: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2009_02_15_archive.html.
Photographs: Photographs depicting these wonderful stories:
1. Dog Mum for abandoned Panda cubs. (Point 1)
2. A dachshund mum for 'Pink'. (Point 3)
3. A swan in a Chinese zoo feeds its fish friends every day - to the amazement of the visitors. (Point 4)
4. Deer me! Doggy mum for deer cub. (Point 5)
5. Bakery for dogs. (Point 6)