Tarra and Bella
Tarra, a 35-year-old Asian elephant, surprised every elephant and human at the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, by choosing a rescued guard dog named Bella as her best friend. Since they met, these two have been inseparable. "When it's time to eat, they both eat together. They drink together. They sleep together. They play together," says Carol Buckley, the sanctuary's co-founder.
Today, Tarra and Bella are still besties. They've even added a new buddy to the mix, a 62-year-old elephant named Shirley.
Some dogs fetch and beg. Others even learn to high-five...but we've never met another dog like Skidboot. This working ranch dog demonstrated remarkable restraint alongside his owner, David. While Oprah and her audience watched, Skidboot waited until David counted to three before snatching up a ball with his mouth.
In 2007, Skidboot passed away at the age of 15. David laid Skidboot to rest underneath an oak tree at his ranch, and he says his best friend was one-of-a-kind.
Who can forget Tyson, the bulldog who zoomed across the Oprah Show stage on a skateboard? Since we first met this YouTube sensation, Tyson has become a dad. His 5-month-old pup, Max, is already attempting to follow in his famous father's footsteps. Max's first few skateboarding lessons weren't successful, but who says you can't teach a young dog new tricks?
In 2003, Oprah met a little girl with an unusual passion. Instead of playing with baby dolls and puppies, Elizabeth Mule preferred to play with her pet tarantulas.
Now, 16-year-old Elizabeth, a recent high school graduate, says she hopes to help scientists find a way to use tarantula venom to cure diseases someday.
Oprah Show viewers got a little "faith" in 2006 after meeting a dog who was born with severely deformed front legs. This tiny pup was rescued by the Stringfellow family and named Faith.
Despite her disability, Faith learned to hop around on two legs and served as a therapy dog. "Isn't this a miracle dog?" Oprah said when she saw Faith. "If this dog can do this, it makes you think, 'What can I do?'"
Today, Faith is still touring the country and inspiring everyone she meets. She even had a stuffed animal made in her honor!
Brutus the Bear
After Casey Anderson and his best bud—Brutus the 800-pound Grizzly Bear—appeared on The Oprah Show in May 2009, this unlikely pair was featured in their own television show. The show, Expedition Grizzly, airs on the National Geographic Channel.
In September 2005, Nate Berkus traveled to the Gulf Coast days after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the area. There he met Patrick, a man who survived the catastrophe with his dog Rafiki. After Patrick learned that his beloved pet would not be allowed onto the rescue helicopter, Nate pledged to help by sending Patrick's dog—along with two other stranded pets—to a private home in Baton Rouge.
Patrick and Rafiki were eventually reunited, and they spent almost five more years together. Then, during the summer of 2010, Rafiki passed away. He was 18 years old.