After one couple became the proud new parents of a puppy, they decided to once again extend their family – with a second furry acquisition. Unusually, though, the young dog got to decide on her four-legged companion. And you won’t believe who she chose.
The tale of one unlikely friendship began when Christina and her fiancé Vincent decided they wanted a pet to start their family. And the Odessa, Texas-based couple had both come from animal-loving homes, so that conclusion was perhaps a no-brainer.
After doing some research, moreover, they chose to get a dog – although one of a breed that most won’t be familiar with. “We had heard of the Tamaskan breed a couple years ago,” Christina told animal news site Petcha in 2015. “[We] had always had that in the back of our mind.”
“We… wanted to make the right decision on breed, as the dog would be in our lives [ten or more] years,” she continued. “We knew we wanted to start a family eventually, [and we] heard Tamaskans were great family dogs – good around kids and other small pets.”
Luckily for the couple, their search soon led the couple to a Tamaskan dog breeder that would within months have puppies available. And in July 2015 they duly brought home a new Tamaskan puppy they named Raven. But, as it turned out, just one pet wasn’t enough: Christina and her fiancé had their hearts set on getting Raven a furmate to play with as well.
Intriguingly, however, Christina was keen on getting a pet that most dogs don’t particularly care for. “I had always wanted a dog and a cat to grow up together. It’s been like a life goal,” she told animal enthusiast news site The Dodo in June 2016.
“Introducing older pets to either cats or dogs doesn’t always go to plan,” Christina added to Petcha. “I wanted them to grow up and bond together.” So a month after bringing home Raven, the couple took her to find a new feline BFF. And naturally it was only fair that she helped them decide on which one.
“I wanted them to be able to get along well. [I wanted] her to actually meet the cat and have the cat get along with the dog as well,” Christina explained to The Dodo. And after several kitten-less adoption days elsewhere, the family finally struck cat at Lubbock Animal Shelter.
“I mentioned to her that I wanted my puppy to meet the kittens, so I could determine which kitten was the best fit,” Christina elaborated to Petcha. “[A shelter employee] said they normally don’t do cat/dog interactions. But, since my puppy was only ten weeks at this point, she said they could make an exception.”
Yet, no cats seemed to make a positive impression on the puppy at first. “Raven is a shy dog,” Christina added. “None of the other kittens showed any interest or seemed scared of Raven and hissed, so that made [her] back away from all of them.” However, there was one little fluffer who wasn’t fazed: a kitten they called Woodhouse.
In fact, Woodhouse was the first cat Raven met; after having no luck with the other kittens, though, another meeting between the pair was arranged. And this time, it seemed, there was no turning back, as Woodhouse was just as curious to see Raven again as the dog was about him. At least, their mutual sniffing and head-nudging suggested as much.
According to Christina, though, it was love at first sight for both puppy and kitten. Raven had made her choice, and the family had to take little Woodhouse home. And the pair were close in age; the vet informed them that the kitten was Raven’s junior by just two weeks.
Even more encouragingly, the relationship between the odd couple seemed to have cemented itself remarkably quickly. From the moment they left for home, in fact, Raven and Woodhouse started playing together with the toys the shelter thoughtfully gave them. “At one point Raven grabbed one of her peanut butter rawhides and held it for Woodhouse to lick,” Christina recalled to Petcha. “It was an instant bond!”
What’s more, the siblings started snuggling when they got to the car and didn’t stop until the end of the nine-hour road trip. And before bedtime on their first night together, the little kitten even tried to nurse from Raven like she was his mommy cat! Adorably, not much has changed since.
“They are perfect with each other,” Christina informed The Dodo. “They don’t cuddle as much as they used to when they were a puppy and kitten but they’re still always [playing together].” Indeed, their bond has remained constant, and they’re now pretty much just like brother and sister.
“They always tell each other ‘hi’ in the morning and run up to each other,” their human mommy relayed to Petcha. “Raven likes to greet [Woodhouse] by placing his entire head in her mouth. Their two favorite games to play are wrestling and tag.”
And though she’s the bigger sibling, Raven doesn’t always get her own way. Indeed, although Woodhouse allows his sister to feel like she’s the boss, when he’s had enough he makes his point. Thankfully, however, Raven seems to happily respect his wishes.
“When they wrestle, Raven likes to pin Woodhouse down,” Christina explained to Petcha. “She knows they can play as long as they want, but as soon as Woodhouse makes… the squished cat sound, she is supposed to… walk away and wait for Woodhouse to initiate if he wants to continue playing.”
But perhaps most bizarrely of all, the two sometimes act like they are the other species. Raven, for example, exhibits rather cat-like behavior in that she “[is shy] around strangers. You really have to work for her affection, but once you’re in, you are in for life.” Woodhouse, on the other hand, could be an extrovert dog in another body; as Christina has revealed, “Any stranger can walk up into our house and pet him.”
Yet although Raven and Woodhouse do indeed belong to different species, they appreciate each other’s differences and they have become all the closer for it. In fact, together with their human parents Christina and Vincent, they love each other unconditionally as a family. And that’s something we should all aspire to do.