Sometimes, remarkable, heartwarming friendships come out of the strangest and most difficult circumstances. The bond between Sri Ram the puppy and Bernie the calf is one of those stories.
It all began when Juliana Castañeda, the founder and director of Juliana’s Animal Sanctuary in Colombia, came across four abandoned puppies in the woods while surveying the sanctuary’s grounds.
At first, it seemed that the puppies were doing fine, and could join in with the packs of wild dogs in the area.
But come 5 a.m., Castañeda found herself unable to sleep for thinking about them and went out in the wee hours to bring them home. She ended up finding forever homes for three of the four dogs, but Sri Ram was left all by himself.
Meanwhile, a calf named Bernie was born on a dairy farm. As a male, he was considered undesirable, so the owners decided to sell him. But they soon realized that he’d likely be slaughtered for veal, so they contacted Castañeda and gave him a new, safe home instead.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
It might seem strange to see this pair cuddling and playing together, especially because of their size difference (and Bernie will get much, much bigger), but animals have the unique ability to see a friend in anyone, no matter how different they might look.
Read on to see this adorable friendship blossom!
Juliana Castañeda, founder and director of Juliana’s Animal Sanctuary in Colombia, came across four puppies in the woods one day.
She took them in, and on a trip to the U.S., managed to find forever homes for three of the four puppies.
But one puppy, named Sri Ram, was left behind. But he was lonely. Castañeda moved him to the area where the older dogs were kept in the hopes that he would find someone to bond with.
Instead, Sri Ram met Bernie.
Bernie was a male calf born on a dairy farm. Male calves are typically slaughtered for veal, but Bernie’s owners wanted him to have a happier fate, and so sent him to live at the sanctuary.
According to Castañeda, it was love at first sight.
She attributes how well they get along to their ages. “Both are just kids,” she says. Sri Ram is 5 months old, and Bernie is 3 months.
Today, the pair are nearly inseparable, playing in the grass together for hours at a time.
And when they’re tired out from a day of playing, they curl up for a nap together.
And while they’re different species, Castañeda says they don’t see those kinds of differences.
“Bernie thinks he is a big dog and Sri Ram thinks Bernie is a big dog,” she says.
The pair also like to spend time with the older dogs at the sanctuary, who are a bit more subdued but enjoy the company all the same.
And Bernie likes snuggling up to his human friends, too. He really does seem to think he’s a dog, hopping up on the beds without a care in the world.
Of course, he’s not always allowed on the beds. But he gets his own place to snooze among the other dogs.
Best of all, Bernie and Sri Ram will be able to grow up and grow old together.
They’ll spend the rest of their lives at the sanctuary with Castañeda, her family, and the horse, pig, quail, pigeon, three rabbits, seven chickens, two turtles, 13 cats, and 35 dogs that call the sanctuary home.
And Sri Ram has also made friends with Castañeda’s son, Bhimal.
Check out more of the animals on the sanctuary’s website, as well as on Instagram and Facebook, and consider donating to keep all the animals healthy and happy.
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