Little Buddy is a very special dog for a multitude of reasons. For starters, this Australian shepherd was born blind and deaf and helped pave the way for his mom to also adopt Aster, another blind and deaf Aussie who needed a loving home. He’s also, according to his mom, the perfect blend of couch potato and adventure seeker. But one of our favorite things about this pup is how he helped his mom raise two tiny kittens during the COVID pandemic.
When Krysten Harper brought home two four-week-old foster kittens who could barely walk, Little Buddy didn’t hesitate to get involved. And we mean really involved.
For the first few weeks, the kittens, Teddy and Goose, lived in the bathtub, because they were too small to be out on their own, roaming around the house. During that time, Little Buddy liked to check in on them, hanging his head over the side of the tub to gaze inside.
“Once they got big enough to actually get out and play, Little Buddy would lick them, and they would lick Little Buddy, and Little Buddy would chase them, and they would chase Little Buddy,” Krysten recalls. “And in some way, I think that both of them look at Little Buddy as a mother figure or a father figure, because they were so young they didn’t have anybody else. They’ve always loved Little Buddy.”
When it came time to give Teddy and Goose up, Krysten couldn’t do it. So the pair got to stay with their doggy dad.
“I fell in love with them, and then I wouldn’t give them back,” Krysten says. “I said no. These are my cats. I’m keeping them.”
Krysten has another dog in her family as well, but the second pup’s relationship with the cats is entirely different from Little Buddy’s.
Aster is another blind and deaf Aussie who was irresponsibly bred from two double merles. She has no vision, compared to Little Buddy, who has limited vision, and she’s still a puppy, so she has lots of energy, constantly bumps into things, and always wants to play.
“When I got Aster, I knew that the cats would be okay with her, and I knew that, as a puppy, she would be fine with them,” says Krysten. “But I didn’t expect Aster and the cats to get along as well as they do.”
But boy do they ever get along. Aster basically became the cats’ sister and best friend. She’s just one of the cats, if you will.
“I don’t think Aster knows that she’s not a cat, and I don’t think the cats know that they’re not dogs,” laughs Krysten. “They snuggle, they cuddle, they play with each other. Aster sniffs them out around the house. Goose will jump off the counter and play with her. I’ve never seen cats love a dog as much as they love Aster.”
All in all, we think this is the perfect little rescue family. You never know what kinds of amazing relationships you’re going to end up with when you dare to love something different!