National Best Friends Day: Best Friends Come In All Shapes & Sizes [VIDEOS]

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - MAY 04: ***EXCLUSIVE*** Leopard 'Salati' snuggles up beside golden retriever 'Tommy' in the back of a 4x4 at the Glen Afric Country Lodge on May 04, 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa. Salati the leopard turns the assumption that dogs love to chase cats on its head by running playfully after Tommy the golden retriever. Animal wrangler Richard Brooker, 23, hand-reared 10-month-old Salati and gives her and family pet dog Tommy their daily exercise together. He takes them out into his family's 750 hectare estate and lets them run amok, saying "Wherever you see one the other is right behind". Rescued as an orphaned cub, Salati was donated by a local vet to the family-run country retreat, which helps to rehabilitate injured and needy animals. The Brookers' hard work and breeding programmes with elephants, lions, and giraffes has helped boost wildlife numbers in the area.

(Picture Credit: Matthew Tabaccos/Barcroft Media/Getty Images)

Did you know National Best Friends Day is on June 8th? Whether you knew it or not, it’s a special day to celebrate your best friend. That’s your dog, of course!

Our relationships with our dogs prove that best friends don’t even have to be the same species. Our pooches are awesome at being good friends, and other members of the animal kingdom know that, too!

Here are a few stories of canines who show us friends can come in any shape, color, size, or species in honor of National Best Friends Day!

The Golden Retriever & The Tortoise

Larry the African spurred tortoise didn’t get along so well with other tortoises. He was the runt of the litter, and the other male tortoises in his enclosure kept attacking him.

Luckily, Christine Hill from California decided to adopt Larry. She had plenty of experience rescuing animals and wanted to provide a home for the rejected tortoise.

But Larry wasn’t too happy at first. He kept running to the fence and trying to escape every chance he got. That is, until he met the family Golden Retriever, Cricket.

Cricket and Larry took to each other instantly and became the best of friends. Larry stopped trying to escape and learned to feel comfortable in his new home. Once these two pals met, they were inseparable!

The Great Dane & The Deer

Kate the Great Dane never had puppies of her own, but that hasn’t stopped her maternal instincts.

Her human, Isabelle, came across a baby deer in the woods one day. At first, she let the little fawn be, thinking her mother would come back soon. But Isabelle heard the small animal crying for three days.

She decided to bring the deer home and laid the fawn on Kate’s bed, mostly because it was the only space she could think of to let the animal rest. But it wasn’t long before Kate the Great Dane took over mom duties.

She and the fawn, who Isabelle named Pippin, got along right away. In fact, Pippin often tried to suckle Kate as if she were her biological mom.

As Pippin grew, she moved back outside to the wild. But she stayed near her new home and still spent plenty of time with Kate the dog. The two became best friends, and even family, for life.

The Anatolian Shepherd & The Cheetahs

Mbepo and Paisley, two baby Cheetah cubs, fell ill and ended up at the San Diego Zoo for care. Animal handlers at the zoo had to rear the cubs by hand until they were well again, but they also needed to find a way to help the cubs grow into healthy adult cats.

That’s when they brought in Yeti, an Anatolian Shepherd who helped out at the zoo as an animal ambassador. Handlers introduced the friendly dog to the cubs slowly to help them warm up.

Their new friendship progressed quickly, and the cubs even joined in when it came time to chow down on Yeti’s birthday cake. She didn’t seem to mind sharing with the little cats one bit!

The Chihuahua & The Chicken

The next story is one that has been told over and over, but it should be told again. It’s possibly one of the sweetest and cutest friendships on the entire planet: Roo the Chihuahua and Penny the Chicken.

Penny was a Silkie Chicken who came from a testing facility. At nine weeks old, she had served her “purpose” and was about to be discarded when a nice lady stepped up and adopted her. Penny’s mom, Alicia Williams, noticed that Penny hated being home alone all day, so she started bringing her to work at the Duluth Animal Hospital.

Roo the Chihuahua was born with out his two front legs. He was found freezing in a ditch and taken to the Duluth Animal Hospital. It was there that Penny and Roo first met and formed an immediate bond.

A nice person donated Roo his first set of wheels, allowing the two unusual friends to go on walks together. Ms. Williams brought Roo and Penny to work with her every day where people loved to see the celebrity pair.

These are just a few inspiring stories of canines who formed friendships with unlikely animal buddies. When all hope seems lost, who knows what friendships you’ll find if you have an open mind and heart?

What other unusual animal friendships should we celebrate on National Best Friends Day? Does your dog have any unlikely pals? Let us know in the comments below!