Tye the baby horse had a rough go of it from the very start. At only 9 days old, Tye became an orphan. His mother, a 22-year-old mare named Sandy, experienced sudden detrimental health issues. Sadly, she eventually needed to be euthanized.
Zip, a 5-year-old rescue dog, lives among these horses in Fayette, Alabama. The Australian Cattle Dog has known many horses, young and old, but he especially connected with the orphaned Tye.
Karla Swindle, who cares for both of these animals as the owner of S & K Quarter Horses, told the Lewiston Tribune that the two are now “attached at the hip.” The story of how they formed such a close relationship will absolutely melt your heart.
Zip Supports Tye Through His Grief
Many animals are capable of recognizing loss and mourning their mothers or siblings. Tye, just a few days old, felt lost without his mom. Incredibly, sweet Zip sensed this immediately and ran to the foal’s side. Swindle described the night she knew Sandy wasn’t going to make it:
“[Zip] was laying there by his neck and the dog was whining, like crying. It just broke my heart.”
She uploaded the sweetest video to Facebook of Zip lying directly next to Tye, looking out for him. He even sometimes rests his chin on the horse. Swindle believes Zip is becoming somewhat of a father figure to the orphaned foal.
“I think he’s adopted it as his baby. He’s letting him know ‘you’re not alone.’”
An Unlikely But Strong Friendship
Without a mother to nurse him, Tye has been learning to feed himself from a bucket. Every time Swindle goes out to take care of Tye; Zip runs out to join her. He can’t wait to spend more time with his adopted horse kid!
“[Zip] beats me out there every time. He would stay out there if I would let him. He just lays in the stall with the foal.”
Swindle isn’t quite sure what exactly led Zip to care for this young horse. She notes:
“This is the first time he has ever just licked on one, nudged one, laid on one.”
For whatever reason, a strong bond formed between these two animals of very different sizes. The result is this incredibly heartwarming content we all get to enjoy. Tye is lucky to have a dad in the form of this sweet little dog.