An Unlikely Friendship


At first glance, this looks like the beginning to a very familiar scene: a large dog chases a frantic, scurrying chipmunk all around the yard. Not so, with Yuri, the four year old German Shepherd and his furry counterpart. If you look a little closer, you’ll notice that this chipmunk’s hind legs are both splayed to his left side. He is almost immobile and uses his front legs to drag the rest of his paralyzed body around wherever he goes. Andrea, Yuri’s owner, noticed this and attempted to put the little creature out of harm’s way on a higher rock ledge, thinking he’d be happier and safer there away from her dog, but he meandered his way back down. Then, Andrea noticed something strange: Yuri took a liking to him, and not in the same way as he does with the countless other chipmunks he chases vigorously around the yard. Instead, Yuri follows the chipmunk everywhere, never resorting to jarring, sudden movements, but calmly, curiously. It’s not unlikely to find him with one paw on either side of his crippled friend. Yuri seeks out this creature every day, showing the kind of empathy and unconditional love we so often seek in our own lives, and so often find in the company of our beloved pets.