A beaver herds cows and 16 other adorable animal odd couples

Friendships forged in the fires of furdom.
(Credit: Adrienne Ivey)

Last week when a Canadian beaver befriended and herded 150 Canadian heifers, an event which really could have only gotten more Canadian if they'd stopped to play hockey or chug maple syrup, the internet could not get enough. But the most Canadian aspect of the whole affair was really the unlikely friendship.

(Credit: Adrienne Ivey)

Although the Regina ranchers who own the steer described the exchange as more of a polite curiosity (also really Canadian btw), the beaver and the cows respected each other's spaces and are at the very least Facebook friends by now (which we all know is the true marker of real friendship).

Still, we love love and the platonic variety is no exception. But the unlikeliest bonds trigger something visceral in us: star-crossed lovers, odd couples, opposites attracting, differences uniting us. The heart automatically champions devotion against all odds. My best friend is a ginger for chrissakes! We are nothing short of humanitarian pioneers. Hi, Nick.

That said, here's a whole mess of other unlikely animal pals to get you through the rest of your week:

Bea the giraffe and Wilma the ostrich

Platonic meet cute: They share a massive 65-acre enclosure at Busch Gardens but now prefer hanging out within neck's reach.

Mani the wild boar piglet and Candy the dog

(Credit: spiegel.de)

Platonic meet cute: Mani was found starving in a field so the Dalhaus family brought him back to their German home to meet Candy – they became fast friends (who frolic).

Leo the lion, Baloo the bear, and Shere Khan the tiger

Platonic meet cute: This bromantic trio have a dark (and pretty dramatic) past. They were rescued from an abusive drug dealer, for real. Now they share an enclosure at Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary in the States. Cannot wait for them to option this story and watch the movie of these adorable killing machines/buds.

Cleo the cat and Forbi the owl

Platonic meet cute: A Brazilian biologist rescued Forbi and took her home to meet her cat, Cleo. Cutest BFFs ever. The end.

Bubbles the elephant and Bella the black labrador

(Credit: Barry Bland)

Platonic meet cute: Bella was left at the elephant sanctuary where Bubbles lives after being rescued from poachers. Now they go for walks and swims together. Bella throws balls for Bubbles, and Bubbles uses Bella as a diving board. I don't know why this isn't a Participaction video.

Tinni the dog and Sniffer the wild fox

(Credit: Torgeir Berge)

Platonic meet cute: They met in the forests of Norway and immediately became buds. Now Tinni's owner brings him around to play with Sniffer. He also brings a camera, and yes, there is a book deal in the works (and not with Disney). This is is real!

Mabel the chicken and her puppies

(Credit: Anita Maric)

Platonic meet cute: Mabel was spared the butcher's block and brought inside to heal a hurt leg. When she found puppies she went into mother hen mode. Typical. 

Lammie the goat and Gertjie the rhino

(Credit: National Geographic)

Platonic meet cute: Gertjie the rhino (aka Little G) was abandoned as a baby, just like Lammie the goat. Now they have each other at a South African animal sanctuary. Their favourite thing to do is run around and bump into each other, often with Lil G attempting in vain to imitate Lammie's dexterity. Both rhinos and goats are found of headbutts. Fact. Given the choice though, go goat, if you can.

Fred the lab and Dennis the ducky

(Credit: SWNS)

Platonic meet cute: Dennis's mom was mauled by a fox but Fred took him in when their human Jeremy introduced them. If Fred looks like he's just tolerating Dennis, note that Fred also adopted a baby deer once. So, he's probably just a loveable curmudgeon.

Pumpkin the raccoon and Oreo the dog

(Credit: Daily News)

Platonic meet cute: Both pumpkin and Oreo are rescues. Pumpkin fell out of a tree when she was a month old and broke a back leg and Oreo was rescued from an abusive home. But they're on the mend and buds for life.

Bear and wolf  

(Credit: Laussi Rautiaien/Hotspotmedia)

Platonic meet cute: Not sure it's entirely platonic. These two met in the wild, probably over a carcass. This male bear and female wolf share meals and hangouts and their love is a miracle.

Anjana the chimpanzee and tiger cubs

(Credit: Bary Bland)

Platonic meet cute: Anjana just loves to hold tiger cubs. Who doesn't? It's not the first time she's helped out at the animal enclosure where she lives. Her caretaker often brings baby animals by for Anjana, who is a natural nurturer.

Torque the dog and Shrek the owl

(Credit: Solent News and Photos)

Platonic meet cute: The irony here is that Shrek was taken from his mom when it was feared she would stress eat him. Actually. So they gave him to a giant dog named Torque instead. Which obviously worked out perfectly. Adorbs.

Nibbles the duck and Jonny the human

(Credit: National geographic)

Platonic meet cute: A little reminder that humans are part of the animal kingdom, and animals join our ranks as BFFs frequently. Jonny suffers from ADHD and OCD, but when his buddy Nibbles hatched right in his hands, his symptoms seemed to abate. Now they're best buds. Friends helping friends.

Milo the wiener dog and Bonedigger the lion

(Credit: Barcroft USA)

Platonic meet cute: Tiny Milo the Dachshund took Bonedigger under his shortened paw after the giant cat was diagnosed with a metabolic bone disease. Also, Bonedigger weighs 500 lbs and Milo weighs 11. Potential snacks becoming friends. What? You were thinking it. Still, this is too many shades of awwes.

Marc Beaulieu is a writer, producer and host of the live Q&A show guyQ LIVE @AskMen