When I was a teenager, a remarkable Disney film was released called The Incredible Journey. Filmed in Calgary, Canada, it tells the heartwarming story of a cat named Tao and two dogs named Bodger and Luath. When their family goes on vacation, they decide to leave the animals temporarily in the custody of a friend. The threesome quickly decide to take matters into their own “paws,” embarking on a harrowing 250-mile journey across the Canadian Rockies. They risk lives and limb, look out for each other, and have amazing and beautiful wilderness adventures in their quest to finally be reunited with their family at home.
For years, I thought about how realistic and inspiring these relationships were portrayed in this movie between these erstwhile enemies. And, in the decades since that time, I’ve always been fascinated by stories of unusual friendships between animals that are typically predators and prey, or natural enemies in the wild.
Now, there’s a new unlikely pairing that’s become the darling of social media and a cult story among literally of millions of people around the world. The story begins in 2014 when avid hikers Cynthia Bennett and her boyfriend Andre Sibilsky adopted a dog named Henry to join them on their wilderness adventures. A few months later, they found their second “child”, a rescue kitten whom they named Baloo. The two animals immediately bonded, and since that time this unlikely foursome has together explored some of nature’s most beautiful spots, enjoying God’s creation together.
In true 21st Century fashion, their story has achieved cult-like followings, with hundreds of thousands of fans on Instagram, a photo calendar and a steady fair of posts to satiate obsessed fans who, like me, live vicariously through their latest exploits.
Below, enjoy some of these amazing and inspirational photos of their experiences.
Photos: henrythecoloradodog (Instagram)
At the end of a week filled with animus and acrimony, I hope you can embrace the beauty of these images, and the unconventional friendships they portray. I invite you to share your own stories about other unlikely pairings.
© Tyra Manning 2018