Recently, Karla Swindle, the owner of S & K Quarter Horses in Fayette, Alabama had to see a heartbreaking moment when one of her horses passed away only days after the birth of a baby named Tye. Everything seemed normal until the mother became sick, and despite receiving veterinary’s care, her health quickly deteriorated. She crossed the rainbow and left the poor foal behind.
At only 9 days old, a foal named Tye lost his mother. But that same night he gained an unexpected friend — an Australian cattle dog named Zip.
Zip had never shown much interest in his horse siblings.
“We raise foals every year, and he would kind of look in the door and just look at them,” Karla Swindle, Zip’s mom, told The Dodo.
But on that fateful night in March, it was as if the 5-year-old rescue dog could tell he was needed.
“I spent the night at the barn taking care of the mama horse, hoping that I could pull her through,” Swindle said.
“Zip stayed with me in the alley of the barn all night — the foal was laying in the alley, and he just lay there beside the foal.”
“He was whining,” Swindle added. “You could tell that Zip knew something was wrong that night.”
The next morning, Tye lost his mother, but he wasn’t alone.
Zip insisted on keeping the newborn horse company, comforting the little animal with his presence. When Zip was around, Tye was relaxed and happy. “It seemed to me that the foal knew that the dog was trying to help him,” Swindle said, “which is so sweet.”
Zip became a dad, and he wouldn’t let Tye out of his sight. He even comforted the little animal and never let him sleep alone. Tye seemed to be relaxed and happy thanks to Zip’s presence.
“As soon as I opened the door, he would about knock me down before I could get in there,” she added. “If the foal was laying down, he would go over there and lay his head on him.”
As months passed, Tye quickly put on weight, growing into a healthy young horse — in part, thanks to his adoptive dad.
Now, Tye spends most days out in the pasture with his older sister, who is teaching him the ins and outs of being a horse. And while Zip still accompanies Swindle to the barn, he doesn’t beg to go in the stall with Tye anymore.