Proving the world that impossible is nothing for a dog, this Australian Shepherd became a single dad for five orphaned cheetah cubs. The little ones mother passed away, shortly after giving birth, and their chances of survival were extremely slim. But they all got a second chance, thanks to Blakely – a very caring dog and kind dog.
The five babies – 3 boys and 2 girls – were born at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Cheetah Breeding Facility in Ohio, where their mom, Willow was a permanent resident. Unfortunately, the 5-year-old female passed away a couple of weeks after giving birth, due to some complications.
The staff tried their best to save the cubs, but they all knew it would be nearly impossible. It’s critical for the cubs to be next to their mothers in the first weeks of life. Nonetheless, the have taken the little cubs to the nursery, where they got the best medical care and they were bottle fed by the clock. But the most critical thing for the staff was to keep their body temperature. They just needed their mother’s body warm. It is when Blakely stepped in!
Blakely, who became a resident of the facility over five years ago, after he was rescued from a local shelter, when he was only seven months old, is more like a therapy dog. The Australian Shepherd wasn’t on his first experience of this kind. He was initially used as a support dog for another cheetah, after she lost her cub, then he comforted a calf. So he and the cubs bonded the first they they’ve met. Blakely provides them the comfort of a mother, and the little things look so happy to cuddle with him and climb over him. But even though, they are getting along so well, Blakely stays by their side only two time a day. In the rest of the time, the staff makes sure they are properly fed and they rest.
Anyway, the caring dog will remain by their side a long time from now on. “As the cubs grow, Blakely’s role in their development will shift from climbable companion and hairy warm body to teacher and role model,” the zoo’s head nursery keeper Dawn Strasser said.