Brother Pup Defends Sister As Animal Shelter Finds Dog Has Special-Needs

Nov 21, 2020 by apost team

Two shelter pup siblings who were abandoned in rural Lousiana in February of 2020 are proof that love and kindness are still alive and well in this world. Denver, one half of this adorable duo, leads and cares for his deaf and virtually blind sister Star. Their touching relationship is bound to lift your spirits.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-) 

All photos were used with the explicit permission of Helen Woodward Animal Center/Facebook

This tender, loving sibling relationship has touched the hearts of many animal lovers. After the dogs were rescued with another six siblings by the Helen Woodward Animal Center of Sante Fe, California, workers noticed that the two named Star and Denver exhibited a unique relationship, according to People. Star, a female, demonstrated an inability to see and remained close to her brother Denver's side as he guided her.

Later on, workers discovered that Star is also deaf. Because Denver is aware of Star's disabilities, if he moves away from her, he returns in short intervals to reassure his sibling that he is not far from her. When the two white dogs move around together, Star's keen sense of smell keeps her aware of Denver's presence, thus preventing her from accidentally straying from her brother.

“It’s really extraordinary,” Dora Dahlke, the manager of adoption services at the shelter, said in a press release, according to People. “We never stop learning from animals.”

"These two really can teach us all a thing or two about sibling love and how much we can achieve with the love of a good friend,” Dahlke added.

All photos were used with the explicit permission of Helen Woodward Animal Center/Facebook

According to the animal shelter's YouTube channel, a worker at Helen Woodward made this observation about Denver and Star's relationship: "They are a bonded pair...They definitely are pretty much a funny pair...One relies on the other."

Denver and Star's relationship just goes to show how similar they are to humans. Not only do they have emotions, but it seems like they really do seem to possess a human-like capacity for love and affection. Research on animal cognition offers support for this view. For example, a 2012 study from the University of London found that dogs seemed to understand human distress, as Psychology Today reports. In the study, the researchers found that dogs were more likely to approach a crying person than someone expressing happy emotions. What's more, the dogs would often react by whimpering along with the crying person.

Star and Denver Are Up for Adoption

All photos were used with the explicit permission of Helen Woodward Animal Center/Facebook

Other researchers have even gone as far as scanning animals' brains. In a study from Gregory Burns, an Emory University neuroscientist, researchers found that dogs felt empathy, attachment, and even had a "theory of mind" in response to their owners, according to Psychology Today. That dogs have a "theory of mind" means that they "apparently wonder what their owners are thinking about," as Dr. Berit Brogaard explains in the Psychology Today piece. Burns scanned the dogs' brains with an fMRI neuroimaging machine to collect this incredible data.

Dr. Brogaard further explains, "While it seems relatively uncontroversial that dogs can be attached to their owners, and that the owners assume the role of caregiver, there is also evidence that dogs can temporarily take over the role of caregiver. Dogs seem to be attuned to the emotions of their owners and are able to act as a loyal companion in times of need."

That is exactly what we're seeing with Star and Denver. Denver, who undoubtedly understands that his sister is different and requires help, has taken on the role of a caregiver. He is in tune with her emotions and is able to provide her with the help that she needs. We can imagine that if Denver is that caring with his sister, he is probably incredibly caring with children and other humans who get close to him. So beyond the fact that his touching story brightens our day, it's clear that this dog and his sister — who desperately need homes — would be great companions.

Those who are interested in adopting these loving siblings devoted to each other should be certain that they are committed to the care of these dogs, however. Also, it will be the people, rather than the dogs, who undergo some training on the best ways to raise a puppy who has special needs. 

The two terrier-blends were ready to be adopted, but by looking at the shelter's website, they may have already been taken into a loving home.

With the patience and love modeled by Denver, the owners will easily be informed on how best to care for Star. Would you adopt a puppy pair like this? Let us know your thoughts and be sure to pass this on to others so they can give us their thoughts, too!

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