At Wise Animal Rescue in New Jersey, adoption and foster coordinator Kristina Helfer fostered many dogs for years now. Along with fostering dogs, Kristina owns a pit bull named Piper. According to Kristina, Piper gets along with every dog she brings home.
However, she never made a real bond with any of the animals. It all changed once Charlie came to the house.
In 2015, Charlie’s owners surrendered him to the Liberty Humane Society. Volunteering there, Kristina decided to foster Charlie. Fostering three dogs before, she knew Piper would react fine to Charlie.
“Charlie’s connection with Piper was immediate,” Kristina told, “The second they met, Piper just became his mom.”
Showing that he lost his mom at an early age, Charlie tried to nurse off of Piper one time.
“It was so special to see,” Kristina said, “Up until that point, Piper tolerated our fosters but wasn’t really in love with any of them. Charlie was one of the few fosters you could tell that Piper loved. There’s just something about that dog.”
As Kristina says, Piper seemed extra loving and patient with Charlie.
“Charlie loved to cuddle and play with Piper, and also just constantly sat down on her head. He literally would go over to her when she was laying down and just sit on her head. He’d do it multiple times a day and her reaction was just like, ‘Eh OK, whatever.’”
Because the two had such a special bond, it made the decision to give Charlie away a very hard one. Knowing she needed to make space for more pups, Kristina made the difficult decision to do it.
Leaving Piper alone once again, Charlie went with a family who renamed him Riker.
Over the next few years, Kristina continued to foster more dogs. Eventually, she adopted another pit bull to keep Piper company. She named him Frank. Like Charlie, Piper helped Frank.
“Piper has this demeanor about her that comforts other dogs,” Kristina said, “The only reason Frank is doing so well right now is because of her.”
Many years after living with her, Piper met again with sweet Charlie.
“As soon as they saw each other, you could tell they knew. They clearly remembered. Piper really wanted to run and play with him, and all Charlie wanted to do was lick her face and head. He was just full on incessantly licking her and cleaning her.… It was like they were never apart.”
Even though they both moved on to new dog friends, Piper and Charlie still show their special bond.
“To Charlie, Piper was almost more of a surrogate mom than a foster,” Kristina explained, “With how close those two became in just one month, I don’t think they’ll ever forget one another.”
Last year, Frank acted the same as Piper would when he took a blind Chihuahua under his wing.
Dealing with anxiety, meeting other pups often is difficult for Frank. A special case, Frank and the Chihuahua Tito instantly bonded. Basically, Frank became Tito’s service dog. Frank even carried Tito around on his back so that he could go on walks.
Sadly, their close connection came to an end as well. In November 2018, Tito’s age got the best of him.
But Kristina’s help does not end there, she recently took in a blind and deaf Yorkie named Sonic as a foster. She says Frank has bonded to him much like with Tito.