A lot of the news that is coming out of Australia today is enough to make you cry.
The whole country is literally afire as brushfires have ravaged an area the size of the Republic of Ireland.
But more than the toll in terms of property and forest area ravaged, what is even more heartbreaking is the fact that at least half a billion animals have already perished because of the blazes if the estimates by ecologists at the University of Sydney are anything to go by.
Since the weather can only get hotter, it stands to reason that the bushfires will become even more difficult to control and the butcher’s bill can only get higher.
Which is why we need to need to hear stories of hope and positivity. The following inspiring event happened about a year ago when no one ever thought that their world would catch fire. But even back then, extremes in the weather was something to worry about.
In this case, a dog owner named Kerry McKinnon from Strathdownie in Western Victoria received an unexpected surprise from Asha, her golden retriever, who had brought home a baby koala from the wild.
Temperatures in that area drop to as low as 5C (41F) during the early hours and the baby koala was probably shivering when it found the comfort of Asha’s fur coat.
Speaking to News.com.au, 45-year-old Kerry said, “It was quite early in the morning, and my husband yelled out to me to come to have a look at something. I didn’t know what he was talking about at first, but then I saw this tiny baby koala snuggled on top of Asha.”
Kerry was caught off-guard and wasn’t really that enthusiastic about taking in another animal.
“I just burst out laughing. Poor Asha didn’t know what to think; she just kept looking at me with such a confused look,” McKinnon added. “She looked a bit guilty when I came out to see what was going on. Her expression was hilarious.”
“She kept looking back at the koala bear, but she wasn’t trying to get him off her or anything. She was happy to let him snuggle into her.”
It’s not clear how the koala ended up on Asha’s fur but it was likely separated from its mother.
“I think the koala bear baby fell out of his mom’s pouch and didn’t know what to do. He would have just wandered over to our back porch and seen the dogs in their beds, then decided to snuggle in Asha’s fur because it’s nice and warm.”
“Asha definitely saved the koala’s life by keeping him warm. He would have died out there if left alone all night. The poor thing could have been taken by a fox or something too.”
Kerry added that it “wasn’t easy” to pry the koala from Asha as it put up a “huge fuss” the whole time.
After getting checked out by the local vet, the little joey passed with flying colors and was passed on to a local koala carer where it stayed until it could be released back into the wild.
“I think dogs have that protective instinct. The koala didn’t want to leave Asha’s back. When we took the koala off to wrap it in a blanket, it hissed at me and carried on.
“I think it would have been happy to have just slept there all day. It was really an amazing animal friendship to see and so uniquely Australian.”