When a golden retriever named Samson first joined Lea’s family, it quickly became clear that he wasn’t quite sure how to be a dog.
Other pups wanted to play with the gentle giant, but Samson didn’t know how to interact with them. In fact, he was so shy around other canines that Lea feared he wasn’t as happy as he could be.
“Samson joined our family to be trained as a medical response service dog, but he takes it a little too seriously sometimes,” Lea said. “Even when he gets time off to play, he has a hard time understanding when he can just be a dog.”
All of that changed one day when the family was off on one of their many adventures. As they walked through a busy town, Samson spotted a cat in a shop window. He immediately got excited and started playing with the feline through the glass. When Lea saw his reaction, she had an aha moment. It wasn’t that Samson couldn’t form social bonds with other animals; he just didn’t relate to dogs!
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So a few weeks later, they adopted a kitten named Cleo, and Samson couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about his new cat sister!
“We weren’t expecting him to get so excited that he couldn’t control himself anymore,” Lea said with a laugh.
The golden instantly fell in love with Cleo. These days, he spends all of his free time with his tiny sister, grooming her and snuggling with her on the couch. When their family goes out on adventures, Cleo and Samson go along as well.
While they were out on one of their hikes, Cleo grew tired of walking. Instead of placing her in a backpack, they decided to see if she would ride on Samson’s back. To their shock and delight, both Cleo and Samson seemed to love the new arrangement!
Cleo uses her claws to ride on Samson’s own little backpack, and now they travel like this all the time! Samson always seems very proud of himself for transporting his special cargo.
Not only have the two of them formed a tight bond that can only be described as best friendship, but being with Cleo has also helped Samson feel more confident around other dogs.
“It was so heartwarming to see him just come out of his shell and immediately form that connection with Cleo,” their mom said.
Seeing these unlikely besties together has made Lea realize that anyone can become friends — no matter how different they may be.
“When I see Samson and Cleo, I see two very different animals who love each other and trust each other,” she explained. “Samson is a huge dog, and Cleo is a tiny, tiny kitten. So it really shows that friendship doesn’t have any bounds. Anybody can be friends.”
Is this the cutest animal friendship you’ve ever seen or what? We just love the way Cleo hitches a ride like it’s no big deal!
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