This Australian Shepherd proved to the world that impossible is nothing for a dog when he became a single father to five orphaned cheetah cubs. The mother of the little ones died shortly after giving birth, and their odds of survival were poor to none. But, because to Blakely, a very kind dog, they all got a second chance!
The five cubs — three males and two girls – were born at the Cheetah Breeding Facility at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Ohio, where their mother, Willow, was a regular resident. Unfortunately, due to circumstances, the 5-year-old girl went away a few weeks after giving birth.
The staff attempted everything they could to preserve the cubs, but they all realized it was impossible. In the first few weeks of life, the cubs must remain close to their moms. Despite this, they took the cubs to the nursery, where they received the best medical care and were bottle fed around the clock. The most important thing for the employees, though, was to maintain their body temperature. They only required the warmth of their mother’s body. That’s when Blakely walked in
Blakely, who has been a resident of the facility since he was rescued from a local shelter at the age of seven months, is more akin to a therapy dog. This wasn’t the Australian Shepherd’s first encounter with a situation like this. After comforting a calf, he was deployed as a support dog for another cheetah who had lost her baby. As a result, he and the cubs formed an instant relationship the first time they met. Blakely provides them with the comfort of a mother, and the little ones appear to enjoy cuddling with and climbing over him. Despite the fact that they get along so well, Blakely only visits them twice a day.The rest of the time, the staff ensures that they are well nourished and slept.
In any case, the loving dog will remain by their side for a long time. “As the cubs grow older, Blakely’s position in their growth will evolve from climbable companion to teacher and role model,” said Dawn Strasser, the zoo’s head nursery keeper.