My puppy Sonnet and I are thick as thieves. She follows me wherever she can, attacks me with kisses when I come home, and we both agree that the best naps are taken curled up together. Yet despite our close bond, I am still surprised by stories of other animals pairing up in the same way.
Unlikely Friendships by Jennifer S. Holland (Workman Publishing Company 2011) features 47 stories of such cross-species relationships. While not focusing entirely on dogs, our scruffy friends feature prominently in the book. Some of my favourite stories follow a dachshund raising a piglet as one of her own, a stray mutt getting his belly rubbed by a elephant and dog who spends his days swimming with dolphins.
The stories themselves were a bit brief for my taste – only giving an outline of the interaction or relationship, and sometimes focusing a bit to much on scientific information. Yet whatever this book lacks in narrative, it makes up for in sheer cuteness.
My favourite feature of this book is its beautiful presentation. Each story features beautiful photographs of the unusual pairs, and really, who can resist a photo of a pit bull sitting contentedly in the grass with fluffy chicks nestled on his back? Not me. I’m not usually a big fan of coffee-table books, but Christmas guests can be sure to find this book lying around my house when they visit.