Teddy bear cuddles have helped comfort many little ones, but it’s an orphaned baby pony who’s now stealing hearts with his fluffy companion.
An English sanctuary rescued Breeze just hours after he was born in 2013. Rejected by his mother, the tiny foal with soft dark hair and knobby knees wasn’t doing very well.
He “needed round the clock care,” according to the Mare & Foal Sanctuary. But since the employees can’t cuddle with Breeze 24 hours a day, they found someone who could: Buttons the teddy bear.
The pair quickly became a worldwide sensation. Turns out, every orphan at the sanctuary gets a cuddly friend, and the workers say it makes a difference.
“They’re just like human babies in the way it provides them with comfort,” Executive Director Syra Bowden told TODAY.
Breeze has since grown into a handsome yet rambunctious pony, enjoying growing up in his new home.
“Don’t be fooled by his sweet little face—like any youngster he’s been known to be cheeky and a little bit naughty,” writes the sanctuary. He’s benefited from regular training and time with other young ponies.
And Buttons the Bear is still a resident, too, offering companionship to other orphans, according to the sanctuary.
Three years later, the staff reunited Breeze the pony and Buttons the Bear. This time, Breeze has the size advantage.
According to the sanctuary, “Breeze had a fantastic time carrying the bear around his stable, and then settled down for a snooze with his old friend snuggled up by his side.”
Help the Sanctuary
If you’re touched by the friendship between Breeze and Buttons, put their photo on your wall! The Sanctuary takes donations to further their mission, and they also create a calendar each year. Breeze is the star of the 2017 calendar.
“Eventually, when he’s ready, we’ll look for a new home for him,” says Yard Manager Tracey Dixon on their blog. “We couldn’t be prouder of how far he’s come.”