Animals Have BFFs* Too!

Posted by Pia

Last week I reported on all the fun we have shooting the Martha show live with some adorable shelter animals. (Meet them here!)

One of the most important points we did not get to address on the show is regarding the many advantages of adopting a bonded pair of animals. Just have a look at these wonderful animal pals that you've sent in to Martha's recent photo contests -- many of whom are adopted!

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1 "Scout was rescued when she was about a week old from my grandmother's garage," writes meghamilton."Our big Weimaraner, Oscar, took over as her protector, and they have been inseparable ever since."

2 "I rescued these two little guys from the shelter in downtown Richmond, Virginia," writes dena519. "I knew from the moment I first saw Penne and Ziti together that they had to come home with me as soon as possible."

3 "Penne and Ziti are my pasta cats!" writes dena519. "They like to hang out in the sink."

4 "We adopted Sampson and Ryder within a few months of each other, and although Sampson liked ruling the roost, he quickly bonded with his new 'brother,'" writes jenniferlbauman.

5 "Eddie was lonely and longed for a playmate he could chase. That is what cattle dogs like to do," writes Edster. "We finally found Bella Bean at the Humane Society. Here they are resting after a 'bonding' trip to the beach."

6 "This is a picture of Gonzo, the three-legged wonder dog, at the local dog park meeting a new friend that is almost as nonthreatening as himself," writes brookenapier.

Raspurr and Molly, cats from Layton, Utah.

7 Raspurr and Molly, cats from Layton, Utah. "Molly is making sure Raspurr's fur is perfect for his photo shoot," writes HoMaid.

Emma and Dotty, Dalmatians from Canyon Country, California.

8 Emma and Dotty, Dalmatians from Canyon Country, California. "Dotty has been donning the Easter finery for 12 years, this was Emma's first year," writes dot2. "She was very tolerant, but snotty Dotty was her usual snotty self."

Bailey, Dixie, Bubbles, Bosley, Roxy, and Halen, Boston terriers from Tallahassee, Florida.

9 Bailey, Dixie, Bubbles, Bosley, Roxy, and Halen, Boston terriers from Tallahassee, Florida. "This pack of bunnies wishes you a very Happy Easter!" writes sprice65.

Meep and Bunny, a mixed breed and rabbit from North Andover, Massachusetts.

10 Meep and Bunny, a mixed breed and rabbit from North Andover, Massachusetts. "Best buddies!" writes MissTapouT.

Bella and Murray, a mini daschund and daschund mix from Santa Barbara, California.

11 Bella and Murray, a mini daschund and daschund mix from Santa Barbara, California. "Bella and Murray pose as Easter Bunnies," writes Murray_Edelman.

12 "This is Honey and Buddy. They are three-month-old golden retriever puppies. They had lots of fun frolicking through the snow for the first time." Contributed by nikkdiss116.

Remy & George, domestic shorthairs from Glen Haven, Nova Scotia.

13 Remy & George, domestic shorthairs from Glen Haven, Nova Scotia. "What is all this white stuff?" Contributed by speddie.

Bailey and Aubie Harbach, beagles from Greensboro, North Carolina.

14 Bailey and Aubie Harbach, beagles from Greensboro, North Carolina. "This was taken in the fall of our two beagles playing in the backyard by our dear friend Dano Keeney," writes Harbach. "We love this picture of them!"

Bear and Harley, dogs from Springfield, Missouri.

15 Bear and Harley, dogs from Springfield, Missouri. "Bear is so gentle with his smaller counterpart when they wrestle," writes bearpooh.

Walter and Mojito, a dog and cat from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

16 Walter and Mojito, a dog and cat from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. "Just another fun day hanging around the house!" writes pascarell.

Brisbie and Brandy, Labrador retrievers from Tampa, Florida.

17 Brisbie and Brandy, Labrador retrievers from Tampa, Florida. "Two of my three girls, who don't need a toy per se to play," writes ILoveLabs. "They truly enjoy the company of each other!"

Yukon and Jake, dogs from Minneapolis, Minnesota,

18 Yukon and Jake, dogs from Minneapolis, Minnesota, "are getting a good workout at the dog park," writes gramdal. "They're great buds!"

19 "Gotcha!" Contributed by trufflepig.

Faith and Lucky, dogs from Clayton, Georgia.

20 Faith and Lucky, dogs from Clayton, Georgia. "Here's Faith and Lucky doing what they love and having a blast at it, too," writes flavored.

21 "No, It's Mine!" Contributed by Sarah845.

Just another lazy day for Starbuck and Boomer, domestic shorthairs from Reading, Pennsylvania. Contributed by bma70.

22 Just another lazy day for Starbuck and Boomer, domestic shorthairs from Reading, Pennsylvania. Contributed by bma70.

23 "The Diplomat," contributed by aldin124

Who says when you snooze you lose? Meet the sleepy winners of our Lazy Pets photo contest, Bogie and his son, Dude, yellow labs from Madison, Wisconsin, taking a nap. Contributed by Nancykbee.

24 Who says when you snooze you lose? Meet the sleepy winners of our Lazy Pets photo contest, Bogie and his son, Dude, yellow labs from Madison, Wisconsin, taking a nap. Contributed by Nancykbee.

Cleo and Junior, mix-breed cats from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, have their naptime interrupted by a human with camera. Contributed by Firestorm51.

25 Cleo and Junior, mix-breed cats from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, have their naptime interrupted by a human with camera. Contributed by Firestorm51.

Chablis and Llano, chow-American Eskimo mixes from Tuscola, Texas.

26 Chablis and Llano, chow-American Eskimo mixes from Tuscola, Texas. "They're the only non-stray dogs of six," reports AbiM. "A multi-functional table leg -- a great pillow and chewing toy!"

Gaia, a boxer from Fredericksburg, Texas, wants to sleep, but Butchie would rather she play with him, writes rebel_07.

27 Gaia, a boxer from Fredericksburg, Texas, wants to sleep, but Butchie would rather she play with him, writes rebel_07.

Kai, Kilo, and Koda, ocicats from Deer Park, Texas, love sleeping together. Contributed by txtwyst.

28 Kai, Kilo, and Koda, ocicats from Deer Park, Texas, love sleeping together. Contributed by txtwyst.

Layla and Brownie, Lab/golden mixes from Pasadena, California, love to relax after a long day of fun. Contributed by vgarci5.

29 Layla and Brownie, Lab/golden mixes from Pasadena, California, love to relax after a long day of fun. Contributed by vgarci5.

Kylie and Rosco, golden retrievers from Canton, Massachusetts.

30 Kylie and Rosco, golden retrievers from Canton, Massachusetts. "At times, it seems Rosco thinks his role in life is to terrorize Kylie. But at the end of the day, as sleeping dogs lie, he is always by her side," writes KTINE429.

Chester and Winnie, a tabby Bengal and torbie from Eagan, Minnesota, love to sleep together.

31 Chester and Winnie, a tabby Bengal and torbie from Eagan, Minnesota, love to sleep together. "This was totally unposed," says WinnieChester.

Pinta, a Catahoula from Bernville, Pennsylvania, makes sure his friend Tiger is safe and sound as he sleeps. Contributed by furfun.

32 Pinta, a Catahoula from Bernville, Pennsylvania, makes sure his friend Tiger is safe and sound as he sleeps. Contributed by furfun.

33 "Suki has slept on top of her mom, Sugar, from the beginning," says katzhere. "She is almost 3 years old now and still does. Suki was born deaf. I guess this is her way of never missing a thing."

Ruby Slippers, O. Henry V, and Big Sky, Abyssinians from Royal Oak, Michigan.

34 Ruby Slippers, O. Henry V, and Big Sky, Abyssinians from Royal Oak, Michigan. "Three precious kittens under a warm lamp in the winter," writes ellen271. "So much love!"

Taz and Azlan, a boxer and labradoodle from Milan, Michigan, became best friends immediately after meeting each other, says ckitty.

35 Taz and Azlan, a boxer and labradoodle from Milan, Michigan, became best friends immediately after meeting each other, says ckitty. "They spent the weekend together camping in Ludington on Lake Michigan."

Bubble, a French bulldog from San Diego, California, used her big brother Jimeny to

36 Bubble, a French bulldog from San Diego, California, used her big brother Jimeny to "snuggle" in before her nap. Contributed by bryguy.

Max and Bobo, cats from Windermere, Florida, taking one of their daily naps after thoroughly grooming each other. Contributed by Alberta72.

37 Max and Bobo, cats from Windermere, Florida, taking one of their daily naps after thoroughly grooming each other. Contributed by Alberta72.

Shelters and rescue groups are seeing a huge increase in family pets being relinquished due to foreclosures and people moving. This results not only in bonds being broken between families and their companion animals, but also between animals who have grown up together and are bonded to one another. Often it is not just two pals coming in together but even three, four and more at times.

Can you even imagine if Francesca and Sharkey somehow ended up at a shelter and someone adopted only one of them without the other?! How heartbreaking and how much better they would each fare if able to stay together! No one should ever have to lose their BFF!

Adopting bonded pals is something I highly recommend. Each animal is less inclined to feel lonely, and you’re helping them to keep the companion(s) that would be highly traumatic for them to lose.

And remember, a bonded pair (or threesome, foursome…) can be made up of a variety of critters -- two cats, a dog and cat, a mama and her pup, two birds, a sibling pair, two bunnies, a dog and goat -- yup, you’d be amazed at the buddies that come in to shelters together. The list goes on and on. Many animals actually meet and become bonded at the shelter, so giving them a chance to stay with a new friend is important too!

If you think that that having two companion animals is always double the work, think again! Adopting a pair of pals can actually end up being less work: Many destructive behaviors are due to boredom or separation anxiety. A built-in playmate naturally provides the stimulation and security needed to reduce the potential for neurotic behaviors to develop. It can also alleviate concerns about leaving a companion animal alone while at work.

Adopting a pair can also teach important lessons to little humans! Having children take part in preserving the bond between two animals and witnessing the support they offer each other validates the importance of loyalty and cooperation -- especially through times of adversity and loss. It can also provide a natural way for families to discuss sibling relationships, or to address an only child's concern about a new sibling.

And the emotional and physical benefits of having a best bud are not reserved for humans alone. Studies actually show that animals bonded to one another live longer and healthier lives!

I would venture to guess that offering some furry soul mates the opportunity to stay together might also weigh in with some karmic benefits to boot.

Whatever the reason, it’s clearly a great option I’d like to see more adopters consider.

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

*BFF = Best Friends Forever!

Comments (7)

  • Good Morning F & S, Dr. Pia and all my BFF's at the Daily Wag - I'm back. Oh and good morning to you Martha can't leave you out.

    Mom and dad are back from vacation and Super Nanny is outta here. She took good care of us but I missed my mom. Super Nanny doesn't let me sleep in bed I have to stay on my bed on the floor, mom allows me to snuggle right in her neck I was in heaven last night.

    Basil how are you feeling? Did they ever find out what was causing all your pain?

    I agree about animals having a BFF. I would really miss Precious, T-Bone and Sophie. Even though I start trouble with them at times we have lots of fun together. It would be sad to split up animals that have lived together, they need one another.

    Mom said it's no more work having 1 dog or 4 and we keep one another company. I think I heard her say more poop to pick up but that's it.

    I have a busy day today we are working on the garden, lots of lettuce to plant.

    Have a great day everyone.

    Zoe

  • Hello Ladies & Dr. Pia,
    I meant to tell you last time Dr.Pia that you are a really pretty lady. When I saw you on The Martha Show I told that to Mom. Tasha is my BFF. I always snuggle up by her and keep warm. We sure did get lots of snow, but it is melting quickly. Zoe, good to have you back. All of my Daily Wag friends are my BFF. I am still taking my muscle relaxers for 4 more days, and doing very well with them--no limping or pain. Also, that new bed and no jumping--Mom is still carrying me lots,and it is helping lots. They said the true test is when I go off the meds next week if everything starts back again. Then a spine MRI and a possible surgery on my back. When I heard that "s" word I stopped jumping and am letting MOm carry me lots. Doing good for now. Keep those paws crossed.
    Love & licks,
    Basil

  • Hello Dr. Pia: I just love those pictures and so does my momma. She told me stories about how Dollie and Heidi (her first dogs) were BFF's, and how Grandpa Littleman and Littleboy (cats) were BFF's, and then there was Tater (dog) and Littleboy. They were BFF's tool It can get very confusing.

    Momma and Daddy don't think they'll be adding to the family soon with another pup. I like it just the way it is. I have friends I see when dad takes me for my walks. We sniff and play and then we all go to our homes. Momma said she remembers how they would all snuggle and cuddle and then play games and stuff.

    Basil - It sounds like you are feeling much better. The medicine is helping you alot. Remember to resist the urge to jump and listen to your mom. You are remembered in our nighly prayer.

    Well, time for a snack and a short nap. It's cold today! Take care. See ya later. Love, Gracyn.

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    Mommy and daddy have had other Chow Chows before my time. Each one of them had their own cat. They were BFF’s. I don’t have a cat because I like to chase them too well. I guess it all started when I was little and a cat came I to my yard. I went to investigate and it ran. I’ve been chasing them ever since. I always thought that cat’s were for chasing; now I know better.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Re: Pias blog 3/25, Love this one, Gracie came to us in January from a Michigan shelter(great shelter). She too was seperated from her BFF, as hard as the shelter tryed not to have happen. However today I watch as Gracie, Eddie and Daisy all snuggle on the couch(they are beagles) with their best feline friend, Sadie. It makes my heart sing knowing she is in her forever home. Thank you, beautiful photos. Teri

  • No I can't even imagine if Francesca & Sharkey somehow ended up at a shelter and someone adopted only one of them without the other...It's hard to swallow that this does happen.

    The photo's are endearing...It was heart warming seeing other breeds of animals enjoy each others company and affection.

    Again, Thank You Dr.Pia for all your hard work for the benefit of animals.

    hope this comment goes through, as I still seem to be stuck in the MS Spam filter...

  • Hi Dr. Pia, You sure do know how to help all animals. Adopting pairs, good buddies, whatever makes a lot of sense about how well the animals will do with a new family. My little Dudley Do Right grew up with a cat in a back yard for 11 months. When I got him, he was so happy because I had a part-time cat named Bogie and it made him feel right at home. They are still good buddies. Thanks for all you do for our animals. Jan

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