It’s fairly obvious why unlikely animal friendships go viral. Not only are the relationships unbelievable, like a baby hippopotamus and a giant tortoise, but the accompanying photos and videos are often too cute for words.
While this viral video, where a dog makes friends with a rescued horse, has captured the attention of hundreds of thousands, it’s the story behind the animals’ budding friendship that will make you appreciate these unlikely bonds.
“Does he have the will to live in his eyes?”
When Darlene Kindle heard the answer to that question she knew she had to take Sammy, a neglected miniature horse that had been found wandering the streets in South Carolina.
“We score horses on a scale of one to ten, he was a two,” Kindle, founder and executive director of Carolina Equine Rescue & Assistance, told WBTV. “Approximately four-six years old with possible a birth defect on his hind.”
Hey everyone. CERA brought this little guy in today. Another one wandering the streets in SC. Guess that’s the way to…
Despite the neglected horse’s extremely poor condition, Kindle was willing to invest the time and effort it would undoubtedly take to nurse Sammy back to health.
“He thrived to live and I was going to give him all I had to make him happy and healthy again,” she said.
The horse was transported from South Carolina to CERA in Union County, North Carolina. When Sammy arrived he was “skin and bones” and on top of a long list of medical issues, he was scared.
One day, shortly after the mini horse arrived at the shelter, Kindle captured a sweet moment on camera.
Molly, Kindle’s 3-year-old Golden Retriever, had approached Sammy and appeared to be comforting the frightened animal.
Hey everyone. I have to tell all of you never in a million years did I expect this little video to have so much popularity. I just put it out there with no caption so let me add a little background to this. This is Molly my 3 year old golden retriever who was a gift from my dad. She is my second golden and I just love their personalities. Always happy and Molly is your typical Walmart greater. She loves everyone including all the animals we have on the farm. She especially loves the minis she can reach them much easier. Sammy the mini that she is comforting just came into CERA’s program. He is nothing but skin and bones and scared. Molly truly has an exceptional sense of knowing when one of the animals doesn’t feel good or sad. So she very gently introduces herself. This is her job and she is very good at it as you can see. Please follow Sammy’s progress on our Carolina Equine Rescue & Assistance page. Sammy has a long ride of rehab to go and I will keep everyone informed.
Posted by Carolina Equine Rescue & Assistance on Monday, August 6, 2018
“Molly is your typical Walmart greater,” she wrote on Facebook. “Molly truly has an exceptional sense of knowing when one of the animals doesn’t feel good or [is] sad. So she very gently introduces herself. This is her job and she is very good at it as you can see.”
In less than a week the video received more than a half million views and several thousand comments and shares.
Since Sammy arrived at the shelter, Kindle has shared on Facebook that while he’s far from healed, he’s making progress.
“Per Dr. Robin [CERA’s veterinarian] he is gaining weight nicely, his coat has improved, all of his vitals are good, and he has great gut sounds.”
As Sammy continues his long road to recovery, the friendly Golden Retriever has shown that she’ll be by his side the entire time. She’s already shown interest in helping the mini horse exercise, and of course she can always be counted on for a good cuddle session.
“Molly knew Sam needed a friend. He was scared, he was very scared,” she told Spectrum News.
If you would like to help you can find out more information by visiting CERA’s website.