"It’s really extraordinary," said a Helen Woodward Animal Center employee helping care for the dog siblings

By Benjamin VanHoose
February 25, 2020 01:07 PM
Credit: Helen Woodward Animal Center

These two puppy siblings share a bond that is unlike anything their rescuers have ever seen.

Star and Denver belong to a litter of eight puppies that were abandoned along with their mom in rural Louisiana earlier this month. When the litter was taken to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., the team quickly realized that Star stood apart.

As the rest of the litter “frolicked” and played in the animal center, Star showed signs of special needs — the 3-month-old terrier blend, employees realized, is deaf and nearly blind.

What staff members also observed, however, is that one of her siblings, Denver, took it upon himself to look after Star, not only acting as a loyal playmate, but also as a personal guide dog to Star while the disabled pup learned to use her other senses to navigate her surroundings.

“It’s really extraordinary,” Dora Dahlke, manager of adoption services at Helen Woodward, said in a press release. “We never stop learning from animals.”

Credit: Helen Woodward Animal Center
Star and Denver
| Credit: Helen Woodward Animal Center
| Credit: Helen Woodward Animal Center

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Now inseparable — caretakers said the pair are rarely apart, and on occasions when they are separated, Denver always rushes to Star’s side to “let her know he was there” — the two dogs go up for adoption together on Wednesday.

The proud new owners will receive training from a local expert on how to raise a puppy with special needs, and, of course, Denver will also be there to support his sister at their new forever home.

“These two really can teach us all a thing or two about sibling love and how much we can achieve with the love of a good friend,” said Dahlke.

To adopt Star and Denver, or for more information on Helen Woodward Animal Center, please go to animalcenter.org, or call 858-756-4117.