Five years ago, a dog and bird met for the first time, and they’ve been inseparable ever since. Here is their story.

While on a walk with his owner, Momo suddenly ran to a spot and started barking. Her owner, Mr. Yamashita, approached to check what had got Momo so worked up. Sure enough, there was a weak bird on the ground, unable to fly. Yamashita named the bird Suzume.

Yamashita took the bird home, hoping to nurse it back to health. However, even though he was able to keep him alive, Suzume would never be able to fly, so Yamashita registered with a volunteer wildlife protection organization near his home in Chiba Prefecture in order to learn how to properly care for Suzume.

At first, Yamashita was concerned that Momo might hurt the little bird, but that didn’t turn out to be the case at all. Momo affectionately watched over Suzume, licking his little body like a puppy. For his part, Suzume seems quite attached to Momo, hardly ever leaving her side.

And that’s how they’ve carried on for the last five years. Momo is now about 8 years old, while Suzume is presumed to be about 5. In the wild, his species would live about 1-3 years, but both dog and bird still seem to be in good health and spirits despite their advanced ages. Yamashita hopes that they will continue to do so for a long time to come.

Source, video and image: Karapaia