The Caring Dog Did Not Stop Comforting The Foal Until He Got Over The Loss Of His Mother

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

In our often cruel world, we encounter many tragedies, with the loss of a loved one being among the most painful.

When such a loss occurs, our world can seem to collapse, and the path forward appears daunting.

Yet, in the midst of this darkness, a glimmer of light can emerge in the form of an unconditional friendship that has the power to heal even the deepest wounds.

zip comforting a horse
Dear Dog Owner

Karla Swindle’s Love for Animals

Karla Swindle has always had a profound love for animals.

This passion led her to establish S & K Quarter Horses Farm in Fayette, Alabama, where she dedicated herself to caring for horses and other animals.

Over the years, Karla has witnessed countless stories of joy and sorrow, but one story remains particularly close to her heart.

The Birth and Loss


In March, a 22-year-old mare at Karla’s farm gave birth to a foal.

What should have been a joyous occasion quickly turned tragic when, just seven days later, the mare fell seriously ill and passed away.

The foal, named Tye, was left heartbroken and without his mother’s guidance in the critical early days of his life.

An Unlikely Source of Comfort

zip comforting the horse

In the wake of this tragedy, Karla made sure to spend time with Tye in the barn, providing him with much-needed support.

To her surprise, her dog Zip joined her that night and refused to leave Tye’s side.

“He was whining,” Karla recalled. “You could tell that Zip knew something was wrong that night.”

Zip sensed Tye’s grief and did everything he could to comfort him. Moved by this unexpected act of compassion, Karla found herself crying alongside her loyal dog.

The barn was filled with the sounds of mourning and solace, a unique blend of tears that night.

A Bond Like No Other

a bond forms

What started as a single night of comfort blossomed into a steadfast bond.

For the next six weeks, Zip never let Tye out of his sight. He accompanied Karla to the barn every day, eagerly awaiting the chance to be with Tye.

“Every time I would take off to the barn, Zip would run to the stall and stand in front of it, waiting for me to get there,” Karla said. “He would beat me to the barn every time.”

Zip’s dedication was unwavering. “As soon as I opened the door, he would almost knock me down before I could get in there,” Karla added. “If the foal was lying down, he would go over there and lay his head on him.”

Healing Through Love

With Zip by his side, Tye began to heal.

The young foal found comfort and happiness in Zip’s presence, and over the months, he gained weight and grew into a beautiful, healthy horse.

Zip, acting as Tye’s adoptive dad, played a crucial role in his recovery.

As Tye grew older, he naturally started spending more time with his older sister, learning how to behave like a proper horse.

Zip understood and was content knowing that Tye was on the right path.

A Story That Touched Many Hearts

The story of Zip and Tye’s remarkable friendship quickly spread throughout Fayette and beyond.

When Karla shared a video of the pair on her Facebook profile, it melted thousands of hearts across the U.S. and around the world.

This touching tale of a dog and a horse, who overcame their differences to form a deep bond, showcased the incredible power of true love and friendship.

Despite their divergent paths, both Zip and Tye carried a piece of each other in their hearts, reminding us all of the healing power of compassion.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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