An ‘odd couple’ of stray dogs have bonded closely in a California rescue home, challenging society’s expectations while melting the hearts of onlookers.
Jimmy, an ageing Chihuahua, and his chum Stevie, a blind Shar-Pei, are so tightly knit that carers refuse to re-home them separately.
The love that cannot bark its name
“We have never — in our 30 years of rescue — seen a bond like these two,” California Shar-Pei Rescue volunteer Neda Rosa, told The Dodo. “And it’s interesting because it’s like Jimmy the Chihuahua knows his partner is blind, and he’s taking care of him.
“He’s just stuck to him like glue. He’s constantly grooming him, and he showers his face nonstop. And he just wants to be with him.”
Yes, you read correctly – the pair are roomed together at a specialist Shar-Pei rescue centre, even though Jimmy is ‘another kind.’
When they showed up at Ramona Humane Society in southern California together, humans concluded that they must have come from the same home. Separating them was not an option.
“When we saw how bonded these two dogs were,” continues Rosa, “we thought that there was absolutely no way we could leave his little friend behind.”
Little Jimmy is around five years older than his wrinkled comrade, Stevie. But while Stevie is the muscle of the operation, Jimmy looks out for the Shar-Pei’s special needs. In addition to being blind, Stevie suffers from seizures and requires medication every day.
“[Jimmy’s] just constantly next to him, and he stands in front of him,” says Rosa.
“He’s like his protector, and you can tell that they’ve had some time together. And Jimmy is always licking [Stevie’s] eyes.”
No ‘Felix’ without ‘Oscar’
It’s no surprise that however odd the couple, their eventual adopters will have to take the pair of them.
“These two will only be adopted out as a package,” states Rosa. “We will not separate them. Ever.”