Friday, February 15, 2013

Feel-Good Friday: Fast Friends

We know the companionship our dogs bring into our lives. We know they comfort us, protect us, and some days they are the only other beings with which we feel like socializing. Turns out cheetahs feel the same way!  This story has been floating around online this week, but special thanks to Isis's mom Suzy for sharing it with me.

Cheetahs are endangered.  Their population has dwindled from 100,000 to 12,000 over the past 100 years. They are famously difficult to breed in captivity. In fact even in the wild they are not social animals, and the female does not go into heat on her own.  It takes a male cheetah to, uh, make the magic happen, and they don't hang around each other often enough because they tend to prefer to be on their own. 

Well, that's obviously a problem. Unfortunately there's another big obstacle. They are afraid of everything!  Their survival depends on their fear because their only defense mechanism is sprinting.

 So, take an unsocial scaredy cat who is in danger of going extinct.  Naturally the solution is to give it a dog. Wait. What? 

It turns out that cheetahs take exceptionally well to having a companion dog. Believe it or not, the cheetahs like the reassurance and protection having a dog offers them.  Make no mistake about it, though, the dogs are the dominant partner in the relationship. They play with the cheetahs, but they don't eat with them. "The dogs are the bosses in these relationships," Rose-Hinostroza said. "If they ate together there would be one really fat dog and a really skinny cheetah." (source)

The dogs protect the cheetah.  The cheetahs knows the dog will protect them. They also play and bond and make the cheetahs much more relaxed and happy. Happy and calm cheetahs live longer and breed better. 

There's even better news. . .most of the dogs are rescues. Oh come on! Just when you thought Feel-Good Friday couldn't make you feel any better, it does!

Please remember to get your pictures in of spoiled pets. I am going to run that story next week.  As always, we need your rescue stories too!  If you want to read more about the cheetah bond or check out more pictures, there are links to all the articles from which I took the information and images below.

No comments:

Post a Comment