Rabbit and Dog Friendship After Growing Up Together Melts Hearts Online

A dog and a rabbit's unusual friendship has melted hearts online after a picture went viral on Reddit this week.

Shared on Saturday by Luke Crouch—who uses the handle dupini97—the post now has more than 18,000 upvotes.

Luke lives in Durban, South Africa with his girlfriend Alex, their dog Rowdy, and rabbit Dave.

Three-year-old rabbit Dave and two-year-old mixed breed Rowdy have been friends since Rowdy was rescued from the Stellenbosch Animal Welfare Society.

Crouch told Newsweek: "Rowdy would chase Dave around the house when she was smaller than Dave, and Dave would chase her back. They became friends pretty quickly but Dave would give Rowdy the occasional smack when he got too energetic."

Delighted by the pictures that were shared on the popular subreddit r/aww, Reddit users headed to the comments.

"This is the most wholesome thing I've seen in a long time," wrote one commenter. Another said: "Interspecies friendships are really precious."

The House Rabbit Society says rabbits and dogs can definitely be friends, but it hinges on the dog's prey drive.

They report: "For a successful interspecies household, a dog must have a low prey drive and must not be interested in chasing and killing wildlife. A low prey drive dog is gentle with other animal species, even in play. Introducing dogs and rabbits should be done with caution and preparation."

Recent data from the American Pet Products Association 2021-2022 National Pet Owners Survey reported that dogs are the most poplar pet in the U.S., with approximately 54 percent of households reporting owning at least one dog.

But rabbits are popular choices for household companions too, with the survey reporting that small animals are owned by five percent of U.S. households, up one percentage point from the previous survey.

"I was surprised at the response I got to the post," said Crouch: "I know the animals are adorable but I didn't expect such a large response.

"I'm glad I was able to share with the world how amazing these two are, and how they have grown to be such firm friends."

One commenter on Reddit said: "Aww! They are very beautiful. Never wanted to eat the bunny?"

But Crouch replied confirming that the pair sorted out any potential issues early on and said: "Dave smacked Rowdy around when Rowdy was smaller than Dave, so he hasn't crossed the line since."

"This is the cutest thing ever," wrote another user. While one commenter joked: "Hare of the dog."

Earlier this week, another unusual animal friendship melted hearts online when a video of a cat and dog best friends went viral.

Dave and Rowdy
A picture of Rowdy the dog and his bunny friend Dave 2 years ago, left, and a picture of the inseparable pair now. The unusual dog and rabbit friendship has melted hearts online. dupini97/Reddit