Zach Hearn thought his family was complete, but his two dogs, Tang and Cream, knew better.
While out on a walk earlier this month, the pups stumbled across a little animal crying out for help and rushed to the rescue.
“Tang and Cream suddenly stopped and looked puzzled,” Hearn told The Dodo. “You could hear a meow a bit away, so both went running up to investigate.”
Hearn couldn’t see where the noise was coming from, but the two dogs managed to sniff out a tiny kitten, approximately 3 to 4 weeks old, lying in the middle of the street.
The little kitten was dirty and skinny, with no mom in sight. Hearn was worried that his golden retriever and King Charles cavalier might chase the kitten, but the pups knew just what to do.
Hearn was shocked when both dogs started comforting the scared little calico. “Tang started whimpering and laid down next to her,” Hearn said. “Cream started licking her and cleaning her.”
Hearn knew he couldn’t leave the kitten alone on the road, so he picked her up and carried her home, where he and his girlfriend made the kitten a comfortable place to rest and gave her a much-needed bath and some food. It was clear the kitten had been on her own for some time, but soon her strength returned.
“We decided to name the kitten 头奖 (Tou Jiang), meaning jackpot,” Hearn said. “At first, she didn’t have much energy and she slept a lot. But after she was fed on a regular basis and had a warm place to sleep, she livened up.”
From the moment the dogs found Tou Jiang, they fell in love. The dogs never leave her side and are always there to give her what she needs — whether it’s comfort, cuddling, a tongue bath or playtime.
Each dog has their own unique “parenting” style when it comes to raising the kitten.
“Tang is more of the stand-back, relaxed mom,” Hearn said. “The cat will climb on her and play with her tail, and Tang just lays there. She will intervene if the kitten is about to do something.”
“Cream is totally different,” he added. “She does more hovering and is always next to her, playing together and licks her clean like her real mom would. They’re pretty good at taking turns, but they’re [always] watching her unless she is put in her bed to sleep.”
Introducing a kitten into the family has taken some getting used to, but the love and excitement that Tou Jiang brings her adoptive dog parents is priceless.
“Raising a kitten is very different from a puppy,” Hearn said. “The feeding and bathroom requirements can be exhausting, but it’s been worth it. She plays with the dogs all day, and we have a home camera to watch them while at work. The dogs are always watching her and next to her.”