Things That Matter

11 Unexpected Animal Friends That Will Make You Smile

Our animal friends are constantly present in our lives. In fact, most of us have a best furry friend waiting for us at home! They sleep next to us, share our lives, and comfort us when we get bad news. While they don’t look anything like us (preferring kibble over a nice bowl of cereal and often need a lot more brushing than us) we still consider them our best friends. That’s why it shouldn’t surprise us that our animal friends sometimes make surprising friendships of their own, despite all the differences. Here are 11 animal kingdom friends who clearly recognize their best bud despite looking (and acting) so differently:

1. Meet Pickles and Dill.

Credit: @LivingWithPickles / Instagram

Pickles has a somewhat sad beginning, as his humans rescued him from a farm once it became flooded as a piglet. Fortunately, his human parents have spoiled him ever since, and he lives his best life with his human friends and many animal siblings. His favorite friend, though, is his brother, Dill. Dill is a French Bulldog mix, and Pickles and he get along like peas and carrots. Possibly because they share so many favorite hobbies!

Pickles and Dill love taking naps together.

Credit: @LivingWithPickles / Instagram

Pickles and Dill love to take naps together, make fascinating sound effects (they both sound like little piggies when they get going), and finding ways so they both get into the dog food. With a name like Dill and Pickles, they were clearly destined to be together, and love growing up together in their new home.

2. Meet Champy and Morris.

Credit: @Champy_and_Morris / Instagram

Morris, a rescue brought from the local shelter to live his best life on the farm, was at first a regular of the front porch and didn’t take too much interest in his fellow animals. Champy took an interest right away. While Morris wasn’t too sure at first, Champy persisted, and a firm friendship was found after a few weeks.

Morris is always ready for a ride from his bud.

Credit: @Champy_and_Morris / Instagram

While Morris was a little shy at first, this definitely wasn’t for long. Champy now spends most of his time with a tiny rider in tow while he grazes and goes about the property. Morris has tried to make friends with the other horses, he hasn’t been successful yet. Luckily, Champy is happy to have someone visit him in the field and to have conversations with and Morris is always happy to take a ride with his best friend.

3. Meet Rudy and Barclay.

Credit: @ducksmakegreatpets / Instagram

While Barclay’s littermates were going off to be siblings to humans, cats, and other dogs, he was meant for something special: to take care of a flock of ducks! Barclay lives with his human parents and his feathered friends and lives a very fun life. While Barclay is getting on in age, he definitely is kept on his toes by Rudy and the gang. Despite living with so many other animals, Rudy and Barclay have a special bond.

Rudy and Barclay aren’t always about placing their ducks in the water.

Credit: @ducksmakegreatpets / Instagram

Barclay and Rudy love to nap together, wrestle when the mood strikes, and they really love to take naps as well. Rudy will even forgo a good swim if Barclay is looking for a nap buddy. They’ll even share a bowl of peas, as long as the rest of the gang doesn’t grab them first!

4. Meet Bubbles and Bella.

Credit: @Andrianalynn16 / Instagram

The story of Bubbles and Bella’s friendship is as heartwarming as it gets: Bubbles was orphaned and taken in and trained to perform many tricks. Bubbles was even a movie star and appeared in many videos. As an adult, though, she didn’t quite fit in with the other elephants. That’s where Bella comes in. When a pool was built for Bubbles, the contractor left Bella behind when he finished. At first, Bella was scared and nervous, but soon blossomed, and immediately was drawn to Bubbles.

Bubbles and Bella are best friends on Instagram and in real life.

Credit: @Rexyissexy / Instagram

Now, Bubbles helps Bella learn how to play, something Bella probably didn’t do a lot of. Bella helps Bubbles by showing her love, carrying around her drinking bowl and toys, and taking long naps with her when they get tired. Fortunately, they both enjoy the water and spend a lot of time swimming together, including playing with each other in the water.

5. Meet Smeller and Puff.

Credit: @Puff_the_Bearded_Dragon128 / Instagram

Maybe it shouldn’t surprise us that two heat-seeking animals like a lizard and a cat would become best buds, but these two still turn heads. Smeller and Puff both seem to have a special bond that has nothing to do with their shared grooming habits, but more to do with their love of cuddling.

These unexpected animal friends love to snuggle together.

Credit: @Puff_the_Bearded_Dragon128 / Instagram

Puff and Smeller both share a love of catching small insects (although Puff tends to eat them afterwards and Smeller usually walks away) and Smeller has been known to climb into Puff’s house to catch some heat lamp time. While Bearded Dragons aren’t particularly known for being affectionate, anyone can look at the smile on Puff’s face to realize that he’s loving every minute in Smeller’s life. Such good pals definitely belong together but are definitely make an unlikely animal friendship.

6. Meet Suryia and Roscoe.

Credit: @docantle / Instagram

Suryia and Roscoe are extra unexpected as they became friends after a chance encounter when Roscoe slipped into the Wildlife Sanctuary where Suryia was living. Roscoe, a stray who was a little bit too thin, was fed by animal caretakers and allowed to follow them as they worked. As soon as Roscoe spotted Suryia, a bond was formed. While dogs are normally afraid of primates, Roscoe immediately took to Suryia, and Suryia immediately made friends with him.

These furry friends also have some very famous friends.

Credit: @saltsox / Instgram

Suryia, an orangutang who helps raise orphaned and baby primates, may have a lot of love to give, but Roscoe is a good friend in return. Suryia often takes Roscoe for walks around the sanctuary where they both stay, feeds him chimp biscuits, and sometimes they even go for rides on their animal friend, Bubbles (not the same Bubbles as with Bella). They are so famous, they even have been recognized by National Geographic and Oprah for their special friendship.

7. Meet Bacon and Pepino.

Credit: @Bacon_the_Piglet / Instagram

You know you’re in for a good story when you hear about a pig named Bacon! Bacon is a baby piglet who lives with his porcine brother Pancetta. Bacon also has a soft spot for pups, which is where Pepino comes in. While both Bacon and Pepino both love taking naps, they also find that they share a love of sniffing out mischief, making new friends, and digging under blankets.

This pig and dog are taking over the world.

Credit: @Bacon_the_Piglet /  Instagram

While Bacon and Pepino may surprise people passing by while they are out and about, they soon win people over with their smiling faces, friendly kisses, and obvious love of each other. Bacon is growing up into a very handsome adult piggy, so is a little bigger than Pepino now, but they both maintain their fast friendship.

8. Meet Osiris and Riff.

Credit: @OsirisAndFriends / Instagram

Osiris might be a tall and beautiful pup, but Riff won’t be left out on their adventures, even if he is just a rat! Osiris is a rescued mutt living in the fast and fun city of Chicago and his human parents are big believers in big families. That’s why Osiris has some surprising siblings, from rats, to cats, to anything else that might need help. Osiris plays his part by providing warm cuddles and the occasional piggyback ride.

Osiris is a good sport about giving Riffa a lift.

Credit: @OsirisAndFriends / Instagram

While rats often get a bad rap, Riff prooves Osiris with plenty of love, play time, and snuggles. Osiris just seems happy to have someone along for the ride! While Riff has other rat siblings, only he can be found going for a lift on Osiris’s back.

9. Meet Antoine and Mir.

Credit: Instagram @AntoinesFund

When Antoine’s human family found him, he was just a husky who was paralyzed due to an unknown cause. Without them, though, he would probably not have lasted long. That’s when they brought him to their farm, already full of plenty of farm animals in the process of rehabilitating, where he met up with Mir. While Antoine is still undergoing plenty of physical therapy (and making slow but sure progress), he’s making the most of life by making friends.

It’s adorable how Antoine is always there to provide company.

Credit: @AntoinesFund / Instagram

While horses are normally afraid of dogs as they are a little bit too much like predators, Mir and Antoine have a special bond. Antoine frequently keeps company with Mir while they are out in the paddock, and always make sure to make small talk. While Antoine has plenty of recovering to do from his paralysis, Mir helps to raise his spirits.

10. Meet Sniffer and Tinni.

Credit: @OrganicBurst / Instagram

Sniffer and Tinni, the real-life inspirations for the Fox and the Hound movie, are exactly as adorable as you’d expect a fox and Norweigian hound to be. Tinni met Sniffer in the forest in Norway when walking with his human parent, and, despite having a reputation for not getting along with humans or dogs, Sniffer was instantly smitten.

Sniffer and Tinni are the real life ‘Fox and Hound.’

Credit: @istapetofficial / Instagram

Sniffer and Tinni are more than best friends now, they not only run around the woods together doing exactly what best friends do, they’ve become the image of interspecies friendships! Their favorite thing to do is to run around and play tag, and to see who can get the farthest first. When not running as fast as they can, they love to wrestle and snuggle when tired. Who’d know they weren’t brothers!

11. Meet Kate and Pippin.

Credit: @Isobel_Springett / Instagram

While it might be unexpected to see a giant pooch and a deer running around playing, it has become completely normal for neighbors of Kate and Pippin. Pippin, a deer found in the lawn of a home in British Colombia, has learned that good things come of approaching houses and has made a habit of it ever since meeting Kate. Kate, in turn, has learned that she has a best friend in Pippin, and always begs to go out and play when she spots him in the yard.

These two have a special bond no one saw coming.

Credit: @Isobel_Springett / Instagram

Pippin, the deer, was found as a baby several years ago and was instantly drawn to Kate the Great Dane. While still a fawn, Pippin learned to look up to Kate as a parental figure. As she grew, Pippin learn that Kate could also be the best play partner ever! While Pippin is now quite a bit taller than Kate, they still get together to play the odd game of chase and to catch up on the gossip.

The US Congress Has Passed A New Law That Will Finally Put An End To Cockfighting In Puerto Rico

Culture

The US Congress Has Passed A New Law That Will Finally Put An End To Cockfighting In Puerto Rico

lu_jcs / Instagram

Before Spain colonized what we now call Puerto Rico, cockfighting was virtually nonexistent on the island. Spanish culture has long celebrated the entertainment value of watching animals fight to their death, from animals as small as chickens to as large as bulls. When Spain colonized Puerto Rico in the 17th century, imperialists brought their love of cockfighting to the island. Whatever your opinions on cockfighting, today, it’s become part of Puerto Rican culture. In fact, Puerto Ricans refused to take orders from their subsequent ruler, the United States, during a 34-year prohibition of cockfighting. 

Still, Congress is once again flexing its arm to eradicate the blood sport on the island. Animal activists had lobbied to enact a complete ban, including the last remaining U.S. territories, which includes Puerto Rico. 

Puerto Ricans are calling the ban on cockfighting an attack on their culture.

Credit: @duckm4st3r / Twitter

Vice called cockfighting “Puerto Rico’s most resilient industry” in 2016, but the $100 million industry has been in decline. Since 1985, the number of licensed arenas has nearly halved from 132 arenas to just 64 regulated arenas remaining. Still, around one million Puerto Ricans attend fights every year, which contributes to the livelihood of the veterinarians and cockfighters who profit off the blood sport.

Then governor Ricardo Rosselló didn’t travel to Washington in time to fight the bill.

Credit: hernansphotos / Instagram

Many Puerto Ricans feel like their status as a “U.S. territory” remains a euphemism for the reality: that Puerto Rico remains the world’s oldest colony. While a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico has no voice in Congress, the legislative body that passed the bill into effect, as part of a sweeping measure to limit animal cruelty across the United States. 

Even Puerto Ricans who reject the sport as a celebration of animal cruelty, still find it paternalistic for culture to be policed. It could have been a celebration of decolonizing the island from Spain’s rule, but Puerto Rican’s voices were silenced in the decision-making process. That said, a Humane Society poll of 1,000 registered Puerto Rican voters found that the majority of respondents supported the ban.

In a natural environment, roosters only fight when forced.

Credit: @BLaw / Twitter

According to Paul Siegel, a fowl genetics expert, cockfights are a rarity in the natural world because the weaker bird usually flees. “If there’s a way to escape, they’ll just get the heck out,” Siegel told PETA. Cockfighters deliberately create an arena that they cannot escape from. 

Animal activists think profit is no excuse for the cruelty inflicted on the birds.

Credit: @MagnoliaNews / Twitter

Then, they hot glue razor spurs to the roosters’ sensitive feet, and allow the roosters to fight to the death. Often, cockfighters will amputate the bony spurs roosters are born with, in order to glue the more fatal weapons on. Before entering the ring, cockfighters will pluck the feathers off their thighs so that they won’t be weakened by the pain of it happening in the ring. Before those crucial moments, they spend the majority of their lives socially isolated behind chicken wire.

“It’s like taking care of a baby,” cockfighter Wilfredo Burgo told Vice. “You take care of it from the egg. But you get used to it when they die.”

While cockfighters are feeling attacked by the U.S. government, they plan to fight back.

Credit: @Newarkguy1973 / Twitter

In the weeks after Congress passed the cockfighting ban, cockfighters were admittedly depressed, and stayed home from the fights. Six weeks later, two thousand cockfighters rallied outside the capitol building, thrusting their prized roosters into the air. San Juan’s mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz, vowed that her city police forces will enforce the law, and that, “if federal agents want to, they’ll have to do it alone!”

“I’m a sixth-generation cockfighter,” José Torres, a trainer of fighting roosters, told NPR. “This is how I support my family. But I also inherited this. I was going to pass this onto my children.” Torres already informed his family that if the police show up at his door to confiscate the 250 roosters living in cages in his backyard, they will have to kill him first. He claims that there are thousands of cockfighters who plan for bloodshed the moment the ban is enforced.

Many are predicting that cockfighting will become an underground sport once again.

Credit: @j_lion_the_best / Twitter

Cockfighters are estimating that there are probably around 1 million roosters raised to fight on the island. Federal agents will likely euthanize the majority of the birds, sparing them an otherwise violent death.

READ: Puerto Rico Was Purposefully Denied Disaster Relief They Were Guaranteed By The Federal Government

Don’t Plan a Basic Bachelorette Party, Try These Fun Ideas For Your Pre-Wedding Party

Fierce

Don’t Plan a Basic Bachelorette Party, Try These Fun Ideas For Your Pre-Wedding Party

@bachandstag / Instagram

Have you ever heard of the tradition of the “June Bride?” It comes from Roman times when couples would get married during that month in order to appease Juno, the goddess of fertility. While Summer is still a popular time to get married, October is actually the most sought after month to get married. September and November are also often chosen because of the mild temperatures, beautiful changing foliage and because they are before the winter holiday season.

With so many saying “I do” during this time of year, let’s focus on one of the most important parts of the wedding experience: the bachelorette party. Whether you’re tying the knot soon or are hoping to in the future, there’s no way your girls are letting you walk down the aisle without one last party totally in celebration of you. Since it’s such an important milestone, it’s only right that it be an extra special affair. If your needing some inspiration to upgrade your bachelorette plans from average to awesome, explore these fun options.

1. Get goosebumps with a spooky ghost tour.

Instagram / @citytoursmke

Is that cold feet your getting or are you just spooked by the ghostly specters at this party? Don’t be afraid to embrace the macabre and explore the haunted parts of your town. Most cities have some sort of ghost tour company that can take you and your girls through the history of local haunts. Whether you prefer a walking tour or to be driven around sipping spirits, this option will scare up a good time. Just be sure to sage the bridal party afterwards.

2. Explore your favorite winery, distillery or brewery.

Instagram / @winelabmx

If you can rosé all day, are curious to see where your favorite vodka is made or are just in it for the booze, this party is for you. Breweries, distilleries and wineries are always down to offer tours to the public that offer as much tasting time as they do information. The best part: the alcohol is included with these tours so you don’t have to worry about settling a bar tab at the end of the night. 

3. Take DIY to a whole new level.

Instagram / @mmadalynne

For the crafty sort of bride-to-be, diy events are a lot of fun but a bachelorette party should take it to the next level. That’s where Madalynne Intimates comes in with their DIY lingerie kits. The company sales sewing kits complete with everything you’ll need to make a handmade piece of lingerie. The bridal party can create sets for the future bride’s wedding night or can make a little something sexy for themselves with this option.

4. Embrace your inner thrill seeker.

Instagram / @gravitybah

They say marriage is the ultimate adventure but your bachelorette party can still get in a ton of excitement. Whether your interested in indoor skydiving, a trapeze party, bungee jumping or paragliding, there are plenty of thrills to be had before you take that marital plunge. After this party, the actual wedding will be a piece of cake.

5. Learn how to work the pole.

Instagram / @chromerosespoledance

You aren’t the only one who got inspired by the movie “Hustlers.” Make Jennifer Lopez proud and conquer the pole with a group pole dancing class. If you’re really bad at it, you and your girls will have plenty to laugh about and, if you’re really good at it, you’ll have something new to show the fiance.

6. Hit the road.

Instagram / @thetravelergene

What better way to celebrate your upcoming journey into marriage than with a journey with your favorite girls. Load up the car and rent an Air B&B somewhere new. Explore the local night life and enjoy what a change of scenery can do to your group. It doesn’t have to be Vegas to be a good time.

7. The ocean is calling.

Instagram / @jessecalauren

All life comes from the water so why not return there to celebrate this next step in your evolution. Rent a place by the beach or a real life boat house for you and the crew and enjoy the sunshine and surf while ocean-side. You could also plan a private yacht trip or book a vacay with a cruise line and experience the bounty of the sea that way.

8. Eat your heart out.

Instagram / @oysterhousechs

You’ve probably been watching what you eat the past few weeks but what better time to indulge than now. If you’re a foodie who loves to feast, take your bridal party on a food tour of your city. Discover all the best places to dine or just hit up some of your favorites. You deserve every last bite in honor of your big day.