Troubled Dog Heals Thanks To A Special Cat Who Loves To Adventure
"Brody was impressed by Leeloo. He has probably never seen a cat who hikes before" 🐶🌲🏔🐱
Shirley Y. was out walking her dog Odie around eight years ago when suddenly, a tiny stray kitten appeared out of nowhere. She was clearly very shy and scared, but for some reason had decided to come out of hiding to say hello to the passing pair. She and Odie got along right away, and Shirley realized the little kitten had chosen them. She named her Leeloo, and immediately decided to take her home.
In the beginning, Leeloo was incredibly nervous around people, but slowly learned how to trust and be brave with the help of her two older dog brothers, Odie and Joey. Leeloo felt safe when she was around her brothers, and they helped teach her that the world wasn’t so scary after all.
“I do believe she was abused in the past as a stray kitten,” Shirley, who asked that her full name not be used, told The Dodo. “She would hide so no one knew she existed. For some reason she loved me and Odie when we walked by and picked us. Odie was her safety blanket.”
Since Leeloo’s bond with her brothers was so strong, her mom decided to start including her on their favorite activity — hiking. At first Leeloo was a little apprehensive, but she followed the lead of her brothers and, before long, she was a hiking natural.
After Odie and Joey passed away several years ago, Leeloo was incredibly sad, and eventually Shirley decided to adopt another dog. She hoped the new addition to their family would be as close with Leeloo as Joey and Odie were, but at first, things didn’t exactly go according to plan.
Brody was flown in from a big shelter in California to a rescue group in Washington. The little Jack Russell terrier had a lot of behavioral issues — before Shirley came across him, he had been adopted and returned after a week. Despite his issues, Shirley decided to take a chance on Brody, and adopted him into her family. On the drive home from the rescue, Shirley took Brody on his very first hike, and he fell in love with it right away, which was the first sign that he was meant to be a part of her family.
While Leeloo was very excited to meet Brody, Brody did not like Leeloo at all when he first met her. He had a very high prey drive, and didn’t understand that he and Leeloo were supposed to be friends. Leeloo wasn’t fazed, though, and once she and Brody started going on hikes together, Brody suddenly saw Leeloo in a whole new light.
“It took a lot of work but slowly Brody was impressed by Leeloo,” Shirley said. “He has probably never seen a cat who hikes before and shows him so many adventures yet to be had.”
Before long, Brody and Leeloo became the best of friends, and Brody began taking cues from Leeloo, somehow learning how to be a dog from his cat sister. Leeloo is the best teacher because she learned so much from her two older dog brothers, and now she’s passing on that knowledge to her new best friend.
“He's a tough kid who had no rules all his life, but calmed down a lot from all the hikes and Leeloo teachings,” Shirley said.
Now, Leeloo and Brody absolutely love going on hikes together. They hike side by side on their leashes, sit next to each other on cliffs and take in the view, and sometimes even go swimming together. They hike in the summer and in the winter, and Brody has pulled Leeloo on a sled before. There’s no adventure too great for Leeloo and Brody to embark on, and their mom is so happy with how far both of them have come.
They both had such different personalities when they were first adopted, but through hiking and each other, they’ve been able to transform into the awesome animals they were always meant to be.