Sadie and Sal are the unlikeliest of friends. Sadie is a brindle bulldog who lives in Harnett County, North Carolina. Sal — who also goes by Gary — is a goose, and Sadie's biggest fan and protector.
According to neighbors who posted online, Sal initially kept four ducks and a chicken in line, but his fowl brigade eventually disappeared, likely because of foxes that roam the area.
So Sal set his sights on Sadie and the pair became inseparable. Although Sadie has an owner, the two wandered around the area together, pretty much adopted by the neighbors who liked to feed the friendly pup when she stopped by.
"That goose," neighbor Wanda Holder told the News & Observer, "takes his long, long neck and rubs on that dog."
One day in late April, the pair wandered a little farther away from home than usual. They strolled along Highway 27, and the sight of the unlikely adventurers caused people to pull over and try to help.
"We stopped to help the Canadian goose keep the bulldog out of the road ... and the goose got (angry)," wrote David Zapata in a Facebook post. "Started chasing everyone around and trying to bite anybody that got near the dog. You can't make this (stuff) up."
According to witnesses, a woman slipped a collar and leash on Sadie and managed to get the bulldog into her car. The goose chased the car for a while, honking angrily, and then he gave up.
"It sorta broke my heart to see the two separated, it really did," Zapata wrote. "You could tell they were pals."
Searching for Sadie
Sal found his way back home, but no one knows what happened to Sadie.
Amanda Georgewill happened to be driving by before Sadie was scooped up. She posted the image of the dog and goose on several North Carolina lost dog pages, hoping the woman who took Sadie would realize the pup had a home.
"I pulled over to help and snapped the picture first just in case," Georgewill tells MNN. "I just want those two to be reunited."
The photo has sparked hundreds of shares and dozens of comments as people have likened the unusual pair to the stars of a Disney movie or the perfect characters for a children's book.
But they've mostly pleaded for the woman who picked up Sadie to return her.
Online, there are plenty of theories about what happened to the neighborhood's favorite bulldog. Did the woman take the dog because she thought it was in danger, being mistreated, or did she just want to keep it for herself?
Neighbors say Sal has been moping. He goes to the main highway where Sadie disappeared and squawks for a few minutes before returning home. One neighbor posted that within the last few months, the dog and goose had also accepted a kitten into their pack, so Sal is taking care of his feline friend while he waits for his pup to return.
"I thought it was really cool how the goose and dog paired up as friends to travel around," Zapata tells MNN. "Definitely a rarity."