Dogs are such compassionate and caring creatures. They have strong instincts of protection and will frequently take an animal under their wing if they sense it needs assistance.
This was the situation for one rescue dog, who became the protector and best friend of an orphaned foal.
In Fayette, Alabama, Karla Swindle is the owner of S & K Quarter Horses. Sandy, a 22-year-old mare, was euthanized due to deteriorating health several years ago.
The death was especially tragic for Tye, the 9-day-old foal of Sandy, who was left an orphan.
Zip, Karla’s dog, quickly comforted the orphaned foal, which was a pleasant surprise.
“Zip stayed with me in the alley of the barn all night — the foal was laying in the alley, and he just lay there beside the foal,” Karla told The Dodo.
Karla reports that the dog stayed with the foal all night, comforting him with a sympathetic paw, after sensing Tye’s distress.
According to IHeartDogs, she told the Lewiston Tribune, “[Zip] was laying there by his neck and the dog was whining, like crying,” she told the Lewiston Tribune, per IHeartDogs. “It just broke my heart.”
While Tye lost his mother that night, he gained a best friend: Zip swiftly assumed the role of friend and protector for the foal.
“I think he’s adopted it as his baby,” Karla said. “He’s letting him know ‘you’re not alone.’”
Dogs are emotionally intelligent animals that appear to be able to sense when someone has died, and it appeared that Zip comprehended the situation and extended a paw to this lost foal in particular.
Karla told The Dodo, “We raise foals every year, and he would kind of look in the door and just look at them,” Karla told The Dodo. “You could tell Zip knew something was wrong that night.”
“This is the first time he has ever just licked on one, nudged one, laid on one,” she told the Tribune.
Zip continued to care for Tye daily for several weeks, and he was eager to see his friend each morning.
Karla told The Dodo that every time she left for the barn, Zip would run to his stall and wait for her there. He would always beat me to the barn.
“As soon as I opened the door, he would about knock me down before I could get in there. If the foal was laying down, he would go over there and lay his head on him.”
Tye has since matured into a content and healthy horse, no doubt due to Zip’s early care and friendship.
Tye now spends the majority of his time with his fellow horses, and he has, so to speak, “left the nest” to become more independent from his dog father.
“You could tell that when the foal needed Zip, Zip was there for him,” Karla said. “And now Zip knows that the foal is OK, so they kind of went their separate ways.”
These two are no longer dependent on one another, but we know they will always be friends and hold a special place in each other’s hearts.