Karen B. London
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An Unlikely Couple
The love of a goat and a dog

It’s hard to say what makes a pair fall so deeply in love, and when a close bond develops across species, it is both more puzzling and more endearing. A goat named Minelli and a Great Dane named Judy used to spend all their time together—sleeping, cuddling, and just being with each other.

They were strays, though, and are now being held in an animal care facility in Dallas for the required 18 days in the hopes that their owners will claim them. Minelli is in an enclosure with more closely related animals. Since being separated from Minelli, Judy barks all day and seems highly distressed. A member of the staff at the facility describes it as heartbreaking and everyone involved in the situation hopes they can be reunited soon. They are separated as required by law, although the deputy involved declined to state which law specifically doesn’t allow them to be together.
Dogs and humans obviously form intense social bonds with each other. Have you had any other animals of different species who are obviously in a close relationship?



Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.


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Submitted by Marci | July 13 2010 |

My Arab mare Shadow was lonely so a few years back I was given a goat. Now I knew she liked smaller animals but didn't know what her reaction would be so I told her it was a "baby." Well Nana goat arrived and she went NUTS, nickering and carrying on over her. She treated her like she was HER foal. Its been 6 years and she still does treat her like her foal. And Nana is very attached to her too.
For a short time I had to board them both and they lived with a herd of horses, they all treated Nana as if she was a tiny foal, even had a babysitter mare for when I took Shadow out to ride. But her favorite horse was still her momma, Shadow. They are very sweet together, and Nana rules the roost. Shadow is so patient with her, and worries when she gets upset, like when its time to trim feet. Nana hates to have her feet done.
Recently I have added a small puppy to my family of pets and he loves to play with Nana. Shadow watches indulgently as the two chase each other under her feet. Nana rearing up like to head butt and the tiny pup (hes a min pin) chasing her jumping up to feign biting her ears. But let a bigger dog come after Nana and Shadow will stomp them, shes nailed several dogs that the hot wire fence didn't keep out.

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