Will the real puppies please rise?

Can you tell which are the Best Friends puppies and which one is the stuffed cow? Their mom can’t! In fact, the puppies aren’t entirely sure either.

052505cowpuppy SI2

Akasha and her babies (pictured at left) arrived at the sanctuary from local animal control. (She’ll be spayed once the puppies are done nursing.) By coincidence, one of the stuffed animals in their room looks just like one of the puppies. Well ... except it’s a cow. But mom grooms it just the same! And the puppies play-bow to it, trying to get it excited about their wrestling games. (However, it seems to be a pacifist, and just looks at them.) No one in this family seems to have noticed that one of their litter mates is decidedly different. Sort of quiet ... sort of squooshy ... sort of a stuffed cow!

And this family’s antics don’t end there. One of the puppies once got stuck on the rim of his food dish. He managed to get up there somehow, but with his stubby little legs, declared himself unable to get down. He barked his little head off until someone gave him a lift off the (few inches high) rim.

Another pup got stuck with a stuffed animal under his belly. He had to roll forward to get his front paws on the ground, roll backward to get his back legs on the ground, and couldn’t get off!

052505cowpuppy SI3

And the only girl in the litter, Pandora (pictured at right), is the assertive one. How do we know? Because one time she jumped into the food dish, with all four paws in the mush, and started yapping her loudest at any of her brothers who tried to come near. (Of course, only a dog would understand why they would still want food that their sister had put all her feet in!)

Soon, this very quirky family will be weaned, spayed and neutered, vaccinated, and on the lookout for homes (including Akasha the mom, of course!). But the cow seems content enough to stay at the sanctuary. Unlike her quirky siblings, the cow is a rather immobile and down-to-earth sort who will look forward to entertaining the next batch of pups without homes.

By Elizabeth Doyle