When Canadian couple Elizabeth Spence and Mike Aporius adopted abused English Pointer Nora, the animal was skittish around everyone. No matter what her new family tried, nothing seemed to help with her anxiety – until Spence gave birth to a baby boy named Archie.
Archie and Nora formed an instant bond, and now, three years later, they’re still the best of friends. Spence’s Instagram, where she shares adorable snaps of the duo – along with Archie’s two siblings and six other rescue animals – has over 120,000 followers.
Archie and Nora are inseparable, but they especially love eating ice cream and napping together. In August 2019 the Canadian uploaded a snapshot of three-year-old Archie snoozing on Nora’s back, and the smile lighting up his features is clear to see.
Spence adopted Nora from a rescue shelter back in 2009. And it was clear that while the English Pointer had a big heart, she had suffered a troubled past. “She came from an abusive background and is afraid of almost everything,” Spence explained to The Dodo in 2016.
Even when Nora safely arrived at her new home in Manitoba, Canada, she was still very nervous. But in 2015 Spence welcomed a third child into her brood. Little Archie was born in December, joining siblings Wellington and Loretta as well as three rescue dogs and three cats.
A blossoming friendship
All of Spence’s children have great relationships with the animals, but there was something special about Archie and Nora’s bond from the start. “Archie is an extremely laid-back, happy, good-natured baby, and all the animals seem to really respond to that – particularly Nora,” Spence told The Dodo. “She absolutely adores him!”
Archie and Nora do practically everything as a pair – from getting into trouble together to playing dress-up. Spence said, “If Archie is having a bath, Nora is lying on the bath mat waiting for him to get out… If he’s going through my cupboards, throwing all the dishes on the floor, she’ll be there cheering him on.”
After a while, the stay-at-home mom realized that Archie and Nora’s friendship was too cute to keep to herself, so she started documenting the pair’s adventures on her Instagram page, which now has 124,000 followers.
Spence explained in a 2016 article for Bored Panda that she started her social media journey “to show what amazing pets most rescue animals are and to encourage others to consider giving them a chance at love, too.”
Sweet nap time snaps
Spence’s heart-warming catalog of pictures has captured a number of moments between Archie and Nora – from having fun in their playroom to posing with lightsabers. But what her followers have most responded to is the sight of dog and child sleeping side by side.
Usually, the pair lay back-to-back, but sometimes Nora sneaks a protective paw over her playmate. It may come as no surprise that most of the posts rack up thousands of likes each.
“The majority of people are overwhelmed by the evident love shared between [Archie and Nora] and are thrilled and moved to see it,” Spence told the Daily Mail in 2016. “The occasional few express concern but are generally appeased when assured that the dogs and baby are never left sleeping together unattended.”
Archie and Nora aren’t the only ones to star in Spence’s adorable photos, though: her other children and rescue animals are also featured on her Instagram page. Spence revealed to The Dodo that she and her partner “taught the kids from a very young age to respect the dogs and to treat them well, so the dogs trust and love the kids very much and are quite comfortable hanging out with them in any manner.”
Rescue dogs make the perfect friends
According to Good Housekeeping, taking on a rescue dog rather than buying a puppy can be incredibly rewarding. By choosing to adopt, you are giving a previously neglected or unwanted dog another chance at happiness – and giving yourself that chance, too. Dogs Trust says, “If you rehome a rescue dog, they will repay your kindness and patience in rebuilding their confidence with loyalty, fun and, above all, friendship.”
A rescue animal can also be a good option if you have kids. By adopting, you can teach your children the importance of being accountable for their own actions and of looking after pets – especially if the pooch hasn’t come from the happiest of homes.
Perhaps they’ll even find a bond as strong as Archie and Nora have – who, by the looks of it, are BFFs for life.