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Our 10 favorite heartwarming pet stories of 2022 include sweet friends and heartwarming cats

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Dog balancing a chick on her nose so gently;  best wellness stories in 2022

Dog balancing a chick on her nose so gently; best wellness stories in 2022

Courtesy of von.jakoba/TikTok

Not to be Debbie Downer, but 2022 was still a pretty crummy year for many of us. But amid the continuing woes of the pandemic, war, climate chaos and global civil unrest, there were plenty of heartwarming animal stories to give us all some hope.

We’ve sorted our files this year and put together a list of our 10 favorite stories. It includes stories – tails? – unlikely friendships, a fighter jet and a monkey named after a beloved star.

So, hey, there may have been some bright spots this year.

Rescued Bulldog And Special Needs Chicken Share Adorable Bond

We love cross-species friendships, but that special relationship between a bulldog named Gus and Lucky, a chicken with special needs, makes us melt. The couple’s adoptive mother, Chandler Coate, says she introduced the couple without much thought and at first the two were unsure of each other. But as soon as Lucky realized that Gus posed no threat to her, their relationship blossomed.

Gus and Lucky’s favorite things are eating and sleeping (amen), and Lucky follows Gus wherever he goes. Lucky has even started mimicking Gus’ behavior, chuckling when he starts barking. Trust us, this story is something so cute that you have to see it for yourself.

Following: The heartwarming friendship between Gus the bulldog and Lucky the chicken is pure magic

Elderly Blind Dog Reunites With Family After Being Lost In Alaska’s Countryside

When Lulu, a blind elderly person Golden retriever went missing in rural Alaska last June, the pup clan, the Kubacki family, feared the worst. But in early July, a construction crew spotted Lulu and after a bit of R&R, she made a full recovery. To top off this incredible story, local residents helped pay the bill for Lulu’s veterinary care.

Following: Blind Elderly Golden Retriever Returns Home After 3 Weeks Going Missing in Alaskan Wilderness

Feral kittens rescued from Cold War fighter jet

cat sitting in the cockpit;  Cats are born in airplane cockpits

cat sitting in the cockpit; Cats are born in airplane cockpits

Courtesy of Hickory Aviation Museum

Felines tend to snuggle up in the most unusual and seemingly uncomfortable places. But these feral kittens, dubbed the T-33 kittens, were locked up with their mom cat in a decommissioned Cold War-era T-33 Shooting Star fighter jet housed at the Hickory Aviation Museum in North Carolina. Luckily, a detachment from the local Human Society was able to catch the stowaways and help them find their furrier homes.

Following: Kittens Discovered in Old Fighter Plane at North Carolina Aviation Museum Could Soon Be Adopted

Fake Titanic Trailer Leaves Cat Lovers Wishing It Was Real

Even the cynics among us find it hard not to shed a tear when Kate is forced to let go of her beloved Jack in the Atlantic towards the end of titanic. But what if Jack had another chance at love, this time with an adorable, wide-eyed feline beauty? Entitled “Titanic with a cat” and published on OwlKittyOn YouTube, the trailer depicting this potential romance has been viewed more than 13 million times and garnered 580,000 likes. Just try watching this video without wishing it was real.

Following: OwlKitty the Titanic Cat: The 7 best moments from the feline-centric trailer

A Pack Of German Shepherds And Chicks Are Taking Over TikTok

It has truly been a magical year for canine and avian buddies. When a German shepherd the breeder decided to hatch chicks, their six-pack of German Shepherds chose to, well, graze them in the family. Videos of the chick and doggo duos have gone viral, with one video amassing an astonishing (maybe not, given how cute it is) 5 million views. So if you’ve never seen a dog with a chick balanced on its muzzle, now is the time.

Following: Watching These German Shepherds Play With Baby Birds Is Our New Obsession

Baby Betty White gets hands-on care to help her survive

On the last day of 2021, the world lost the iconic Betty White. But his legacy, an enduring love for animals, lives on in the multitude of baby animals that bear his name in 2022.

Goeldi’s monkey, a severely underweight baby at the Houston Zoo, was one of them. Baby Betty needed hands-on round-the-clock care from diligent zoo staff to ensure she got through her first months of life. While she may have been little, baby Betty captured the hearts of thousands and went from underdog to social media star overnight.

Following: Raise a small monkey, named Betty White, to increase her chances of survival

Hero Dog Ruby Honored in Netflix Movie

Ruby, a Australian shepherd and border collie mix, had a rocky start to life, bouncing between several houses and being deemed “unmanageable”. But all Ruby needed was a way to channel her focus and her energy and a human will to help her achieve greatness. Enter cpl. Daniel O’Neil of the Rhode Island State Police. Through extensive training and constant, gentle guidance, O’Neil helped transform Ruby into a super soldier.

Over the past 10 years, the dynamic duo have saved three lives, solved murder cases, tracked down numerous criminals, and helped find countless missing people. Ruby even helped save the teenage son of an animal welfare volunteer who had rooted for Ruby since she was a troubled pup.

Sadly, Ruby passed away in May. But his story and legacy are documented in the Netflix movie. Saved by Ruby.

Following: Life-Saving Hero Dog Ruby and Her State Trooper Show the Power of Second Chances

Cat comforts Golden Retriever puppy in heartwarming TikTok video

Every new mom needs a break sometimes, and golden retriever Olive was no exception. After giving birth to a particularly large litter of pups, the furry mama needed an extra leg or two, and Fig the cat was ready and willing. In an adorable TikTok video, one of Olive’s puppies suddenly becomes distressed and Fig immediately springs into action, soothing the distraught pup. The video, which has now been viewed over 30.1 million times, is sure to put a smile on your face.

Following: Watch This Cat Comfort Her Pal’s Golden Retriever Puppy In Heartwarming TikTok

The penguin parade through the streets of the Cincinnati Zoo

Who doesn’t love a good parade? But have you ever seen a parade of penguins? Earlier this year, the Cincinnati Zoo’s king penguins were released (under supervision, of course) into the weekend zoo walks, much to the delight of the humans they walked with. And in case you haven’t been able to experience the sheer pleasure of chilling with these penguins, please join the folks who have been in on the scene 23.7 million times on TikTok.

Following: Watch these king penguins purposefully waddle around the Cincinnati Zoo during a penguin parade

Ukrainian President awards his Extraordinary Terrier the Service Medal

It’s hard not to understand the story of Patron, a Russell terrier who received a service medal for his work detecting hundreds of explosive devices in war-torn Ukraine. According to some accounts, Patron identified more than 200 explosive devices during the first months of the war. Patron also helps educate Ukrainian children about safety in areas that may contain landmines, does charity work, and helps put a hairy face on Ukraine’s courage in its continued struggle.

Following: Watch the medal awarded by the President of Ukraine to Patron, the terrier hero who sniffs out hundreds of explosives

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