Molly the dog has always had a knack for making everyone she meets feel welcome — and she gets plenty of opportunity living at Carolina Equine Rescue and Assistance (CERA), a nonprofit that cares for abused, neglected and abandoned horses.
Dogs, cats, pigs, goats, horses — the golden retriever loves them all, and makes sure that every new arrival at the sanctuary knows they have someone on their side from day one.
“She just goes up with a wagging tail, and sniffs them and licks them like a long-lost friend,” Darlene Kindle, founder of CERA, told The Dodo.
So when Sammie, an emaciated silver dapple miniature horse, arrived at the rescue earlier this month, the 3-year-old dog instantly knew he needed her help.
Sammie was barely skin and bones when an animal control officer found him wandering the streets of South Carolina in July. Animal control knew the neglected little horse needed to be treated with care if he was going to make it through the next few days.
An assessment at a local veterinary clinic found the horse to be 100 pounds underweight, with painful dental issues and a possible birth defect causing issues with his hind legs.
The time and expenses necessary to bring the horse back to health were substantial, and the vet suggested that Sammie be euthanized if animal control could not find a rescue to take him on.
The shelter contacted Kindle in hopes of finding the horse a home, and she called the vet to see what treating Sammie would entail.
“I asked him a whole bunch of questions, and my last question to him was, ‘Does he have the will to live in his eyes?’” Kindle said. “The vet immediately said, ‘Yes,’ and I said, ‘OK, I’ll take him. If he’s willing to fight the fight, then I’ll help him do that.’”
When Sammie arrived at the rescue, he proved to Kindle just how eager he was to get better. “He immediately put his head to the ground and started gobbling grass,” Kindle said.
Molly was there, as always, to welcome the newcomer, but Sammie was far too preoccupied with his meal to give her his full attention.
After their brief meeting that day, Molly made a follow-up visit to Sammie’s new pen.
“It was later that evening, after Sammie got bedded down — I don’t sleep well at night so I was out here sitting in the rocking chair — and Molly was with me and she just walked over to him,” Kindle said.
Kindle pulled out her phone and captured the dog and horse’s sweet interaction on video.
Hey everyone. I have to tell all of you never in a million years did I expect this little video to have so much popularity. I just put it out there with no caption so let me add a little background to this. This is Molly my 3 year old golden retriever who was a gift from my dad. She is my second golden and I just love their personalities. Always happy and Molly is your typical Walmart greater. She loves everyone including all the animals we have on the farm. She especially loves the minis she can reach them much easier. Sammy the mini that she is comforting just came into CERA’s program. He is nothing but skin and bones and scared. Molly truly has an exceptional sense of knowing when one of the animals doesn’t feel good or sad. So she very gently introduces herself. This is her job and she is very good at it as you can see. Please follow Sammy’s progress on our Carolina Equine Rescue & Assistance page. Sammy has a long ride of rehab to go and I will keep everyone informed.
Posted by Carolina Equine Rescue & Assistance on Monday, August 6, 2018
“She was telling him, ‘It’s going to be OK, and you’re going to be OK. This lady over here is going to help you, so just be patient,’” Kindle said. “[She was] comforting him, and making sure he’s happy being here.”
Since sharing the video a week ago, Kindle’s Facebook post has gotten hundreds of thousands of views and shares.
“Molly truly has an exceptional sense of knowing when one of the animals doesn’t feel good or sad,” Kindle wrote on Facebook. “So she very gently introduces herself. This is her job and she is very good at it as you can see.”
Many of Sammie’s medical issues can’t be addressed until he gains weight, so for now, he is eating a healthy three meals a day, and going on short “power walks” with Kindle to build up the muscles in his hindquarters.
Though there may be some difficult days to come, Sammie seems happy to have a friend to support him along the way.