Over the years we’ve all read stories about mismatched animals becoming the best of friends or animals growing up confused as to their real identity. Well, both of those scenarios happen to be the case for a tiny calf named Moonpie, who was rescued from an auction and relocated to a sanctuary with 12 loving dogs. It’s not as if there weren’t other cows for baby Moonpie to hang with, it’s just that she was first housed with the dogs and she quickly formed a very strong attachment to them.
Rocky Ridge Refuge
According to Janet Wolf, founder of the Rocky Ridge Rescue in Midway, Arkansas, where Moonpie now calls home, when she first received the adorable little mini cow the weather was unsuitable for the calf to bunk with the other cows at the sanctuary, so she had to stay indoors with the 12 dogs. She instantly took to them and spent her time lounging, cuddling and sleeping with the canines. “I don’t have a lot of room here, and it was cold and rainy and that wasn’t good for a little calf. All my heated buildings were occupied with other critters, so that’s how she ended up in my bedroom.” The arrangement lasted six weeks.
Dogs Are Not Just Man’s Best Friend
During her cushy confinement to the house the dogs took to Moonpie like ducks to water and began caring for her as if she were their own. While she bonded with all of the dogs, one dog in particular appeared to capture her attention and affections more than the rest. That dog is a white terrier named Spackle, who happens to be deaf, and the two have a special bond beyond that which she shares with the others. Spackle immediately became her protector and refuses to leave the calf’s side.
Canine Care & Grooming
Besides nurturing and protecting her, it seems Moonpie’s canine pals all took turns grooming her, too, becoming surrogate moms in the process. Wolf says the influence has been so great that Moonpie now waits to use the bathroom when indoors, just like the dogs do. Yup, somehow she’s learned to hold it until she’s let outside with the rest of the pack for a potty break. “She does what the dogs show her, so she learned how to do that,” says Wolf. I’m picturing the pygmy pony with the doggy door in the Amazon commercial with Little Man playing in the background.
Blue Skies Ahead
Now that the weather has started to improve, Moonpie has begun spending more of her time outdoors, where she can intermingle with the cows the sanctuary harbors. “At first she wasn’t sure what to think, and then she was just like, ‘Okay, a bigger dog,’” Wolf explained. “But they started hanging together, too. She now knows she’s a cow, I think. It’s all just a matter of who’s in your space. You love the ones you’re with.” Crosby, Stills & Nash couldn’t have said it better themselves.