For some, childhood can be a lonely time. But with a little help from a furry (or not-so-furry) friend, it can be a wonderful and eye-opening experience. Take it from these kids who consider their pets to be their ultimate BFFs. Read their stories and prepare to release sighs of "aww" after each one.
HAILEIGH AND MURPHY
You can call Haileigh the modern day Mowgli. This 3-year-old and her 12-foot giant python named Murray are the best of friends. The two are completely inseparable and have been ever since Haileigh was just a few months old. Although some parents may be wary of inviting such an intimidating animal into their families, Haileigh's stepdad, Brendan McGuire, is not worried about it one bit. McGuire has owned Murray for 10 years, since he was in high school. He assures everyone that Murray is extremely docile and incapable of harming anyone. Haileigh often loves to pick Murray up and carry him around, even though he's four times her size. We wonder if she'll try and sneak him into school with her some day! (Metro U.K.)
ALIDA AND MR. GIBBS
A 3-year-old named Alida would not survive her day-to-day life without the help of Mr. Gibbs, a Goldendoodle that carries around her oxygen tank. Alida suffers from a rare lung disease. When her parents found out that she would have to carry around a six-pound oxygen tank with her to lead a normal life, the Knoblochs decided to get her a little helper. Alida's life changed significantly after they adopted the service pup. Now, Mr. Gibbs and Alida are joined at the hip and do absolutely everything together, like biking and running around the playground.
ANDREA AND MILLIE
Andrea Taylor, a 5-year-old girl, was devastated when she woke up one morning to find out that Millie, her Pit Bull, had gone missing. Millie was a therapy dog for Andrea, who has cerebral palsy. According to her mother, Andrea spent the following two weeks awake at night, crying for her dog and staring out the window. Finally, the dog was mysteriously returned on the front porch early one morning. Millie went straight to Andrea's bed and waited for her to wake up. The two have been inseparable ever since.
LORCAN AND JESSI-CAT
Lorcan Dillon was diagnosed with selective mutism as a toddler. Because of this, the 7-year-old from Manchester, England has trouble expressing his emotions to his family members. His mother, Jayne Dillon, was worried about the well-being and social development of her child, so two years ago, she brought home a Birman named Jessi-Cat to keep Lorcan company. Lorcan and Jessi-Cat have been close friends ever since. With the help of Jessi-Cat, Lorcan has been able to build enough confidence to read aloud to his teachers and show his family more physical affection. The most important development was when he learned to say "I love you." Dillon is excited to see what other things Lorcan will be able to do with the help of his best feline friend.
CONNAR AND STEWIE
First-time parents know newborn babies cry, but they may not expect their babies to boo-hoo quite as much as they do. Enter Stewie the cat, the answer to every parent's sleepless nights. This family's black cat helps put their new baby, Connar, soundly to sleep. We wonder if Stewie can help with Connar's imminent terrible twos. Watch Stewie in action.
EVAN AND MINDY
Evan Moss is one of the most successful and enterprising 7-year-olds around. Evan wanted to raise money for his own seizure service dog, so he wrote a book about it. "The Seizure Dog" landed him on Amazon's best-seller list. After raising more than enough money this summer and undergoing an intensive 10-day training session, Evan was able to bring home his own service Goldendoodle named Mindy. Evan still sleeps in his parents bed, but soon he will able to move into his own room with Mindy. Evan is excited to share his life with his new best friend. ("Today")
MAYA, SPONGEBOB AND MISS DAISY
5-year-old Maya Kehoe is one of the luckiest girls on the planet. Not only does she have what every little girl dreams of -- her own pony -- she also has a 4-week-old piglet that thinks it's a pony. Miss Daisy the piglet is currently undergoing a bit of an identity crisis. At their home at the Fun-e-Farm petting zoo in Cairns, Queensland, Miss Daisy hangs out with the other ponies as much as she can. She eats with them and frolics around the farm with them. Maya doesn't mind; she loves them all just the same. (Cairn)
JARED AND CLYDE
A 10-year-old boy named Jared thought he'd never see his 11-year-old cat Clyde ever again after the animal went missing. Jared was devastated. He and his family placed a lost-cat ad in hopes of finding Clyde. After 12 days, someone found the missing cat while Jared was in school. His mother decided to surprise him with the news, and sure enough, Jared was blown away with happiness. We have never seen such a heartwarming reunion between a boy and his kitty companion. (Catsparella)
BLUES BABY AND BLOODHOUND
Some children like to play around in the park with their pets. Others prefer making good ol' soulful tunes with theirs. Take this wee toddler for example. With her harmonica at hand and her Bloodhound buddy by her side, this 2-year-old can't help but create beautiful, bluesy music. We see a Grammy in the future for this dynamic and darling duo.
CARL AND BOO BOO
Carl, a 9-year-old boy from Essex, U.K., has a genuine friendship with Boo Boo, his pet barn owl. He loves the bird more than anything, but sometimes Boo Boo can get on his last nerve, especially when Boo perches on top of Carl's head to get a better glimpse of the world. Carl just brushes it off, like he would for any one of his best human friends. Boo is just lucky that Carl loves him so much!
Next: Pet Heroes
ALANNAH AND PATRICK
Best friendships don't always start off with the happiest of stories. Australian toddler Alannah Merleto was so excited when her cat gave birth to a litter of newborn kittens. However, the mischievous munchkin had a little bit of a bad habit. Alannah had a history of dropping things into the family toliet. By accident, she did the same thing to one of her new kitten companions. It took eight firemen to rescue the kitten. They poked a camera down the pipes and found the cat whimpering in the dark. A rod covered in rags was used to push the kitten along to a manhole where she was reunited with her owner. Alannah was so relieved to see her almost-lost kitten that she named him after the firefighter who pulled it out of the drain. (News.co.au)