Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Odd Couple

Many of you may have seen books with unique animal bonds.  The most popular book that I have seen is titled, "Unlikely Friendships" by Jennifer S. Holland.  There are even calendars!!  Well, that book sure is cute, but in my personal opinion none of those animals hold a candle to Hershey & Hank! (Of course I'm a little bit biased...)

Hershey came to Triple D at only 2 weeks old.  She met us at our annual road trip in April in Mariposa, CA.  For an entire month, she only knew the care of people.  She loved the attention and knew we loved giving it to her!!
Hershey & Ringo meeting
for the first time
Upon our return back to Montana, I decided to take her home at night in order to further the bond necessary to maintain a safe relationship with a tiger.  I wanted her to see me as "mommy".  Well, I have my own pup at home.  His name is Ringo.  He is a Springer Spaniel.  For Hershey, it was love at first sniff!  For Ringo, well lets just say he is very tolerant....but before you knew it, he looked forward to her cuddles just as much as she looked forward to his.

Cuddle Bugs!
As she grew in size & personality, it started to become more and more difficult to take her home.  Plus I like my carpet & furniture.  So the time came, when I just couldn't take her home anymore.  But she still needed that canine companion.  So I enlisted the help our beloved Hank. (You all know Hank!)  Hank stepped right in.  He was a little rough for her at first.  She was used to a very mellow cuddling dog.  And while Hank loves to cuddle, he REALLY loves to play. Before too long though, Hershey realized that she had found her new best friend!

Hank & Hershey relaxing after
an intense play session
Hank dwarfed Hershey when they first met, but Hershey is now 8 months old and tipping the scales at 110 lbs!  She's growing so fast!  That doesn't deter Hank, however.  He may be afraid of the resident domestic cats, but he's all in when it comes to playing with Hershey. The two of them will romp and romp and romp and romp!!!  Hershey tuckers out first. (Tigers aren't known for their endurance.)  And when she does, Hank cannot wait to take advantage of her vulnerability!!  Being the valiant herding dog that he is, he will nip at her neck and heels to get her going again!  Its quite the scene! They do both eventually tire out and will lay down and rest.

Hank is an amazing training tool here at the Triple D.  When she (or other animals he's helped "raise") get too rough or start getting too "bitey" with me....Hank to the rescue!  He'll come in and nip at her barking!  He's my personal body guard!  Its amazing!

Hank & Hershey romping
around when she was
just 5 months old
People often ask me when I will separate them.  That is a great question actually.  But only Hank knows the answer to that.  There may come a time when he no longer enjoys his Hershey play time because she is too big or too rough.  On the flip side, he may remain the dominant one in their play time and they may be full-contact friends forever.  Regardless of Hank's decision to maintain that full contact or not, he will remain in her life as a protected-contact companion. (Protected contact means that there will be a fence separating Hershey from Hank.) But for now, they get frequent play dates and they absolutely love every moment of it!  We are so lucky to be a part of their beautiful world.

The most amazing friendship to ever form at the Triple D

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Here at the Triple D, we are ALWAYS thankful! We are thankful for our staff, our clients, the beauty of Montana, and most importantly, we are thankful for our amazing wildlife!!!  So to express our gratitude to them for this festive holiday, we fed out MANY turkeys, chickens, & even cornish hens for the little guys.We hope you all had a very safe & happy Thanksgiving!!!   

Kupalo was not quite in the sharing
mood....We don't blame him!
Only half of the amount of poultry we fed out is shown!