I am very interested in the interactions between different species. In fact, as a scientist, it is those interactions that I love to study and understand. For my first research project in graduate school, I investigated the nesting association of two species of tropical social wasps in order to understand why their nests are often found within a few centimeters of each other. No matter what the story is, if it involves more than one species, I’m interested.
Besides just loving dogs, I’m fascinated by the fact that we are two species with a shared and very close relationship, which is nothing short of a biological wonder. We talk about dogs as our best friends, yet, we have other friends, too. Similarly, dogs may consider members of species besides humans to be social partners, especially if they have been exposed to those species early in life.
It’s my interest in interactions between different species that led me to be so fascinated by a recent story from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. During a blizzard earlier this year, a dog saved the life of a cat that had nearly frozen to death
. The cat had apparently been living under the house of the man and dog who saved it. The dog brought the cat to his guardian, who brought it to the local human society because it was in bad shape and actually had a towel frozen to it with ice. The cat was severely hypothermic and its heart rate was very low. The staff at a local animal hospital worked saved the cat with treatment in lukewarm water to remove the towel and warm IV fluids.
The dog needed to interact with both the cat and humans to save the frozen feline, who was named Frosty by the staff at the Kootenai Humane Society. The dog needed to rescue Frosty from his hiding spot and then safely deliver it to the human in order for him to get proper care.
Do you know of situations in which a dog has truly acted as a cat’s best friend?