Book Review: Elephant & Dog Friendship

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Tara & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends

Written by Carol Buckley 
Photographs by Carol Buckley
Published: 2009 by Putnam Juvenile
All Ages, 32 pages
Topics: friendship, animals

If you haven’t already heard about this unlikely friendship then this will surely make you smile, even though there’s a sad mention in this post. Tarra performed in the circus as the only roller skating elephant. In 1995, Tarra came to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Unlike a zoo where animals remain in cages, the elephants in the wildlife sanctuary roam freely throughout 2,700 acres. All the elephants except for Tarra found an elephant companion. However, that changed when Tarra awoke to find a stray dog next to her. Soon Tarra and Bella went everywhere together. One day, a caregiver found Bella injured in the grass and was taken to the vet. It was unsure whether Bella would be able to walk again, since she had a spinal cord injury. Every day Tarra remained in the same spot waiting for her friend and finally searched to find Bella. Tarra waited outside for her friend while Bella rested. When Bella discovered that Tarra was outside, she attempted to run to the window. Finally, the caretakers realized that the two desperately wanted to see each other so they carried Bella to reunite with Tarra. Tarra welcomed Bella with gentle elephant trunk pets. Tara returned each day until Bella was well enough to roam. Sadly, Bella died in October 2011. The friendship between an elephant and dog prove that we can look beyond any differences and understand each other. The back of the book provides information about the Elephant Sanctuary.

The Elephant Sanctuary Information

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Elephant & Dog Friendship

    dadirri7 said:
    January 27, 2012 at 12:50 am

    such a touching heart-warming story, thanks so much for sharing it, and the videos!

      Caroline responded:
      January 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      I thought it would brighten someone’s day even though the dog has now died. Just watching a video sure made me smile. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

    thiskidreviewsbooks said:
    January 27, 2012 at 4:09 am

    I saw these videos before but I never knew there was a book about the friends!! What a great book! I hope Tara was OK after Bella died 😦

      Caroline responded:
      January 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      I didn’t realize there was a book either about the unique friendship. Yes, Tarra is doing okay now that her friend has died. Thanks for your comment.

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