Life on a farm is filled with joy and sorrow. Karla Swindle was about to experience both emotions. Her mare gave birth to a beautiful foal named Tye, but just 9 days after the delivery, the foal’s mother died. Thankfully for Tye, the family’s Australian cattle dog named Zip became the foal’s constant friend.
Up until this point, Zip didn’t show much interest in horses. Swindle explains, “We raise foals every year, and he would kind of look in the door and just look at them.”
Zip was a rescue dog. Maybe that’s part of what makes him care so deeply for this orphaned foal. Maybe he knows what it’s like to feel abandoned.
Zip must have sensed that he was needed. “I spent the night at the barn taking care of the mama horse, hoping that I could pull her through,” Swindle said. “Zip stayed with me in the alley of the barn all night — the foal was laying in the alley, and he just lay there beside the foal. He was whining. You could tell that Zip knew something was wrong that night.”
Zip Seemed To Know That Tye Needed Him
When the mare died, Zip was there right by the foal’s side. Tye seemed happy and relaxed when Zip was around. “It seemed to me that the foal knew that the dog was trying to help him, which is so sweet,” Swindle said.
As Tye grew, Zip kept a close eye on Tye. “Every time I would take off to the barn, Zip would run to the stall, and stand in front of the stall and wait for me to get there,” Swindle said. “He would beat me to the barn every time. As soon as I opened the door, he would about knock me down before I could get in there,” Swindle added. “If the foal was laying down, he would go over there and lay his head on him.”
The relationship between Tye and Zip changed as the foal grew. “The foal is a little rough now,” Swindle explained, “raring up, trying to play, so Zip kind of stays away from him now.”
“You could tell that when the foal needed Zip, Zip was there for him,” Swindle said. “And now Zip knows that the foal is OK, so they kind of went their separate ways.”