Edmonton

A special bond: Pit bull and blind calf forge friendship at Alberta animal rescue

A blind calf has found an unlikely friend in a pit bull rescued from the fighting ring.

'They took to each other and immediately bonded'

Heaven, a blind calf, is best of friends with a pit bull named Sweetpea. (Erin Deems/Saving Grace Animal Society)

A blind calf has found an unlikely friend in a pit bull rescued from the fighting ring.

Heaven, a two-month-old calf, and Sweetpea the dog are the best of pals.

They can often be found side-by-side, roaming the grounds of the Saving Grace Animal Society in Alix, Alta.

"They took to each other and immediately bonded," said Erin Deems, the animal rescue's executive director.

"Love knows no species boundaries. When two animals can bond like that, it's pretty heartwarming." 

The inseparable pair play, sniff and even kiss.

"They really love to sunbathe," Deems said. "Sweetpea really enjoys grooming Heaven so she's always licking her face and cleaning her up as well as she can. They just really enjoy each other's company."

Heaven was rescued from a northern Alberta dairy farm and brought into the care of the rescue agency.

Too skittish to be housed in the sanctuary's barn with the rest of the farm animals, the calf was moved into a small pen in the backyard of their shelter facility. That's when she met Sweetpea, the agency's official ambassador dog.

The pair hit it off immediately.

"Sweetpea took to her right away and showed her the ropes, as she often does with dogs that we bring in that need extra medical attention," Deems said in an interview with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.  "She just kind of latches onto them and kind of shows them the way.

"I think she felt that Heaven was in the same kind of situation."

Best friends forever

Sweetpea also had difficult beginnings. Deems believes she was used as a bait dog in an underground fighting ring. When she was seized by the RCMP a couple of years ago, she was emaciated, battling infections and covered in lacerations.

"She's the most forgiving animal that we've ever seen," Deems said. "She just wants to love everything."

There is something special about the friendship that's developed, Deems said. And while farm animals at the sanctuary are often adopted into new homes, Heaven isn't going anywhere.

"They're both going to live out the rest of their days at their sanctuary so they can continue their friendship for as long as they see fit."

Heaven and Sweetpea will live out the rest of their days together at the central Alberta sanctuary. (Erin Deems/Saving Grace Animal Society)

About the Author

Wallis Snowdon

Journalist

Wallis Snowdon is a digital journalist with CBC Edmonton. She has nearly a decade of experience reporting behind her. Originally from New Brunswick, her journalism career has taken her from Nova Scotia to Fort McMurray. Share your stories with Wallis at wallis.snowdon@cbc.ca