They’re described as the king and the queen of the Cochrane & Area Humane Society — and for good reason.
Zeus and Athena are a bonded pair of Saint Bernards that weigh 200 pounds combined, eating 11 cups of food a day between them. Zeus, 4, is the more confident and outgoing of the pair, with Athena, 2.5, leaning on her counterpart to lead the way.
These big dogs are full of love and have been waiting to be adopted together since early March, says Cochrane & Area Humane Society operations manager Jaimie Anton.
“Because they’re bonded and need a home together, it narrows the adopter pool down a bit, but we know that the perfect family is out there,” Anton says.
The challenges of adopting out a bonded pair
It’s not unheard of to get bonded pairs of animals that need to be adopted together, but it does sometimes make the adoption process more of a challenge, Anton explains.
“They are probably our largest bonded pair that we’ve had in so they’re definitely looking for a bit more of a specific home and somebody that has the resources to take care of them,” she says, adding they’re about 100 pounds each and require plenty of room to roam and need to eat more than smaller dogs.
“That’s something to consider when you’re taking on big dogs like this.”
The duo are still learning skills at the shelter. They are crate trained but, since they aren’t used to being led on a leash, are working on their walking skills, which is a two-person job.
“Ideally, we’re looking for a rural acreage property with a fenced area where they can run and stretch their legs,” Anton adds.
Meet Zeus and Athena
The shelter hopes to find an adopter that is familiar with the traits of the breed and can work with their size. Besides being a larger breed that needs space and lots of food, Saint Bernards also tend to drool a lot.
Zeus is described as being the more confident one, while Athena is the shyer of the two, preferring to follow her big brother’s lead. Wherever Zeus goes, Athena isn’t far behind.
“Athena takes her confidence from Zeus, which is why we want them to go to a home together,” Anton explains, adding the pair adore each other.
“Zeus is pretty laid back and chill. He loves to get scratches. Athena takes a little longer to warm up and feel more comfortable.”
In particular, the shelter hopes that Zeus and Athena will be the only two dogs in their new home.
“We definitely want them to go together just because they are so much happier together.”