Dog is My Co-Pilot: Friendship & Adventure

By Kelli Lage, September 2020
dog with chick on head

Cedar, our five-year-old yellow Lab, is extremely calm and gentle. We have laying hens, and one day, when I took some of the chicks into the yard to play, Cedar let them climb all over her. The chicks were very curious about Cedar, and Cedar welcomed them as they went about discovering who she was. Watching them gave me the idea for this photo.

After I set the chick on her head, Cedar remained very still, as though she knew that was the best way to keep the chick safe. The chick was quite content there, and probably would have stayed on Cedar’s head all day if I hadn’t eventually helped her down. (The chick is a Rhode Island Red; when she grows up, she’ll lay brown eggs.)

Cedar, who we adopted when she was just eight weeks old, is full of energy and love. When she’s not playing with our other animals, she can be found playing with her tennis ball or taking an afternoon nap in the sun. She loves to roam our Iowa farmland, watching the birds overhead and the cars that pass by. As much as she loves spending time outside, she also loves snuggling up inside each night with me and my husband, Ryan. Read more about interspecies friendships.

Photography and text by Kelli Lage