Nuka has always been a gentle dog. Raised in a house full of small animals — some with fur, others with feathers or scales — the black German shepherd has always loved other animals, big and small.
“Our vet said, when he was younger, that he was wise beyond his years … because he’s generally so placid and relaxed,” Nicole Yates, Nuka’s mom, told The Dodo.
In April, a local pet shop was looking for emergency homes for their animals due to the COVID-19 shutdown, and Nuka welcomed a new addition into his busy household. The gray and white rat, named Blue, was clearly searching for comfort — and Nuka was more than happy to help.
“There was this immediate clear connection between Blue and Nuka compared with my other rats,” Yates said. “It was more so Blue who seemed to adore Nuka! He loved snuggling into Nuka’s fur and if I put him down on the floor he would run to find Nuka.”
When Nuka was a puppy, his mom trained him to lie down whenever she enters the room with a small animal. So once he’s relaxed, Yates lets him gently play with his tinier siblings.
And despite his size, they’re never scared of their big brother.
For Blue, his new situation couldn’t be more perfect. Nuka’s thick fur makes the perfect nest for the little rat. And if Nuka sees that Blue is asleep, he won’t move for fear of waking up his buddy.
“Blue is a very placid rat so he’s really happy just being with Nuka and laying there with him, either snuggled into his mane or at his belly,” Yates said. “Nuka likes to bathe Blue with licks, which Blue doesn’t seem to mind either.”
Blue’s so comfortable with his friend that, when he’s awake, he even uses the dog’s body as a jungle gym.
Nuka doesn’t seem to mind one bit and is just happy that his friend is happy.