Have you heard the expression “opposites attract but likes stick?” It seems this applies to non-humans as well. A sweet story about a German shepherd dog headed for death row and a wayward goose with attitude issues comes from Puriton Horse and Animal Rescue in Somerset, England. The rescue’s goal is “to stop suffering in the animal world, and to provide a home for any cat, dog, horse or rabbit.”
The dog named Rex has been at Puritan Rescue for about 8 years. He was three years old when he was rescued from the end of a chain in a junkyard. The first shelter he was sent to was ready to euthanize him because his bad behavior rendered him unadoptable. That’s when Puritan Rescue got involved.
Rex was even a challenge to feed, requiring one person to distract him while another put his bowl of food at the opposite end of his area. Rex was not responding to training of any kind but was guaranteed to live out his life at Puritan.
No one thought Rex would change his ways until his heart was smitten by a goose named Geraldine. At first, the rescue staff was cautious because Rex was known to eat birds. Let’s face it, he is a dog!
Geraldine was surrendered by her humans who could no longer cope with her negative behaviors. You could say she had the reputation of being vicious, nasty and anti-social. She didn’t like other animals or people.
To everyone’s surprise and delight it was love at first sight for the odd couple. Geraldine even rebuffed Rex’s dog friend, Vera, and refuses to let her near Rex. Vera now has to be content with extra attention from staff. She is afraid of Geraldine’s possessive attitude towards Rex.
So now, the canine-avian pair spends their days in each other’s company and do most things together. They eat, sleep and play as a couple. When Rex gets his walk in the woods, Geraldine waddles alongside him. They share Rex’s dog bed at night and Rex will cover her with his leg to protect her from the cold.
“I’ve been doing rescue work since 1997 and seen all kinds of strange animal behaviour, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Sheila Breslin from Puritan Rescue. “They are very affectionate and he’s always licking her head.”
Breslin emailed an update:
They’re fine running around the garden, they eat together and go to bed together, she walks around along side him and rests her head on his side to cuddle him, its really sweet they’re best friends and they rule the garden.
After spending three years at the end of a chain, it’s obvious why Rex had trust issues. Just like people, animals are the sum of their experience. In Geraldine’s case, the why is not so apparent. Perhaps she was born with a negative outlook on life, like many people who exhibit naturally occurring negative reactions to their family, friends and environment no matter how good they may have it.
I suppose that expression “opposites attract but likes stick” is doubly true in this case. Opposite species, but similar attitudes!
To see more photos of Rex and Geraldine, view The Daily Express article here.
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