Mar 08, 2013 3:32 AM GMT
ART_DECO saidBaker-Stedham said Milo assumed his caregiving role without any prompting or special training.
“Milo really cares for Eddie, he always licks his face, they sleep in the same room and spend all their time together,” she said. “Milo even wears bells on his collar so that Eddie can follow him around. If Eddie wanders off, Milo will go and look for him and bring him back to me.
Taking some of the magic off this, animal behaviorists might propose that this is pack and herd behavior seen among some species. Caring for an injured or sick member of the group might benefit the entire group in a communal way, for the same reasons these species form herds in the first place.
Mutual assistance can be a survival strategy that becomes instinctive, regardless of the condition, until the individual becomes too great a burden on the group and a detriment. And although these dogs are different breeds, dogs retain common genes, and much of their instincts & behaviors are shared.
But even if this isn't altruistic behavior but instinctive, it nevertheless offers an example of mutual cooperation & support that humans should emulate. After all, if a dog can help another dog, how should humans treat other humans? We are social animals, too, and many of the same rules of community assistance apply, or should.