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Posted by: Kim Mattar Category: News & Stories

The idea of unlikely friends is a beautiful thing! Friendship is one of the most sought after nouns on Earth. There’s love, health, wealth, peace, and then friendship. And why shouldn’t it be up there in the top 5? Friendship gives you a sense of belonging, connection, and confidence. When you become friends with someone you lend them your trust and you open up to them. You feel like you belong when you can be yourself. You connect with them because you see some of yourself in them. You gain some confidence because someone likes you for who you are. Your friend’s stories are relatable so being empathetic comes easy.

You don’t always have to befriend someone of your own kind. Between genders, races, and sexuality, the human connection of friendship is everywhere. But beyond the human connection is the original friendship within the animal kingdom. Think about how monkeys clean each other or how some bird breeds mourn after the loss of a bird friend. These animals, who have been around for thousands of years, define the meaning of friendship.

Naturally, since the human and animal worlds have collided, we have all become friends. Dogs are called best friends and fur children. Birds are called “buddy” and cats are called “baby”. As humans, we have learned to love members of the animal kingdom as if they are our own children. We are unlikely friends and family members.

But, what about two unlikely animals becoming friends within the animal kingdom? Elephants usually stick with their herd. Birds stick with their brood. Fish stick with their school. But, once in a while an animal goes astray and breaks the norm. Have you heard about the raccoon and the dog?

Pumpkin the raccoon and Oreo the dog. The story goes: a very weak Pumpkin fell from a tree when she was just a month old. Pumpkin was rescued by humans after Pumpkin’s mother didn’t return. The humans also had two rescue dogs (apparently this is a very selfless group of humans). A year has passed and Pumpkin is still living with the humans in the Bahamas and their two dogs. Since Pumpkin didn’t grow up with a group of raccoon’s, also referred to as a “gaze”, Pumpkin naturally acts as if she is a dog. Pumpkin thinks she is a dog and the two dogs treat her as if she is one. They know no difference and this is a beautiful thing. Unlikely friendship blossoming from unconditional love, acceptance, and belonging.

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