Of all the beauty that the natural world provides, unlikely animal friendships are among many people’s favorites. Watching two disparate species overcome barriers of body language and instinct is always heartwarming. Throw in the harsh surroundings of a Russian winter, and you have something potentially special on your hands.
Svetlana Pisareva knows this better than anybody. Svetlana is a gifted wildlife photographer, capturing countless snaps of animals in their natural habitat. However, among her finest work are images of an Alaskan Malamute and gray horse enjoying each other’s company, frolicking in the Saint Petersburg snow.
It’s unknown if both animals are wild. Stray dogs are a common sight in the cities of Russia, even using the subway to commute, though Alaskan Malamutes also roam free in the nation. After all, this breed is also known as the Siberian Husky. Either way, it’s unsurprising that this dog extended a hand (or should that be paw?) of friendship to its equine associate. Alaskan Malamutes are famously friendly, despite their size and resemblance to wild wolves, which may intimidate the uninitiated.
Like all dogs, they can grow aggressive if not exercised. Equally, they do have a prey drive. A smaller animal than a horse may have been instinctively chased rather than befriended. Many rehabilitation programs and therapy centers adopt Alaskan Malamutes due to their soft and loving nature, though.
Perhaps the animals connected due to this shared temperament. Take a look at some of Svetlana’s photos. The horse is perfectly content to allow the husky to climb aboard its back. Considering the number of teeth in the canine mouth and the proximity such positioning would provide to the horse’s neck, this requires substantial trust.
Perhaps most of all, however, these animals likely shared an energy level and enthusiasm for exercise. Most dogs would struggle to keep pace with a horse and would certainly lack the endurance to sustain a day in their company. The Alaskan Malamute, however, is bred to work. Running and galloping around the snow is child’s play compared to pulling sleds.
Here at The Sized, we have a simple request for our readers. The day our hearts stop melting at images such as this – or indeed, these cross-species friendships – reminds us to give up on this whole life thing. Perhaps we could all learn a thing or two from the animal kingdom, where two wildly different species can overcome their surface-level differences and form an unbreakable bond.
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