Issue 115

This Unusual Animal Friendship Will Melt Your Heart

Meet Mercury, a therapy horse in training and Sirius, his Maremma sheepdog puppy pal.

When Sirius was three months old, Mercury, a blue-eyed American miniature horse was born on the farm and the pair became instant friends.

Maybe it was because they were both babies at the same time, maybe it was because Mercury's mum was very comfortable with Maremmas and didn't mind Sirius spending time with her foal, but the pair started playing together and when they got tired, sleeping together.

They do virtually everything together.

Mercury and Sirius are learning how to walk up and down steps together, ride in a truck around the farm and to walk and stand on a lead.

When Mercury goes inside the farmhouse, Sirius is not far behind.

Sirius has huge fluffy paws, that look too big for his body and he needs to practice good indoor manners, whereas Mercury, with his tiny little hooves, needs to practice walking on different floor surfaces.

Like his equine friends at Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, Mercury is training to become a therapy horse and eventually, he will work inside hospitals, hospice programs and with families who have experienced traumatic events.

When he travels for a hospital training visit with his mother, Sirius waits on the farmhouse porch for him to return.

The therapy horses of Gentle Carousel are on the very small side of miniature horses, many weighing under 100 pounds, so when Mercury and Sirius are adults they will be about the same size.

These firm friends will live together on the farm together forever.

On the unusual friendship which has developed between Sirius and Mercury, Debbie Garcia-Bengochea, Education Director at Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses said, “Just because you are different doesn't mean you can't be friends. You just need to care about each other.”

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