We generally think of the animal kingdom as a strict hierarchy. In the wild, there are typically clear lines between different species of animals that don’t get crossed. For example, gazelle and lions generally don’t “hang out.” Maybe a more common example is the rivalry that supposedly exists between cats and dogs. Ultimately, we think that there are some animals just shouldn’t get along under normal circumstances. For those people, this story might change your mind.
In Wynnewood, Oklahoma there is a wildlife refuge which is home to a wide variety of animals. This home to wayward animals is called the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. Founded in 1997, the park spans 16 acres and is home to 1400 animals from 128 different species.
These animals run the gamut from tiny to enormous. One of the animals living at the refuge is Bonedigger, a big lion. While some of the animals at the park are exotic, others are much more common. Among the more commonly found animals include a number of stray dogs, particularly Dachshunds. One of these adorable little wiener dogs is a little girl named Abby. What you might not expect is that Abby and Bonedigger are best friends.
According to park manager John Reikene, the loving friendship between this odd couple is very different from anything he’s ever seen before: “I can’t say that I’ve ever seen anything like this bond. They’re always just loving on each other.”
Although Bonedigger is intimidating, Abby is more than his match. According to another park employee, this could be because the two animals have such a long history. The two were introduced to one another when they were both between the ages of six to nine weeks old. The relationship between the two is a unique connection, the staff say. Even though Bonedigger is friends with the other dogs, none compare to Abby.
This adorable story just goes to show that we might not understand as much about animals as we think we do. It’s too easy to think that all animals are alike, or that they don’t have their own unique personalities. As this story shows, size and dominance are not the only things that matter in life. Bonedigger and Abby may not seem to have much in common, but they have worked something out between themselves—and become best friends. Most people could probably learn from this warm friendship!
To Abby and Bonedigger: thanks for setting such a great example!