My heart is exploding because of the cuteness.

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It is quite common for cheetahs in captivity to have a canine best friend. According to National Geographic, "...[A] number of other zoos have begun raising puppies and cheetah kittens together to help combat the big cats’ stress and focus their wild energy." The article goes on to say, "The combination works because the chosen dogs, usually rescue mutts but sometimes pure Labradors or shepherds, are a calming influence and are tolerant of kitty play." This all being said, let me introduce you to the cutest friendship in the state, Nandi the cheetah and Bowie the dog.

If you aren't saying awe, have a cup of coffee, wake up, and try again.

Cheetahs have been my favorite animal for my entire life, so this friendship makes me burst at the seams.

The Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange is home four cheetahs, Nandi, and three brothers Alvin, Simon, and Theodore.

Nandi was the first cheetah to arrive at the zoo and like most cheetahs, she was a little skittish. Enter in Bowie. Bowie is a yellow Lab who is a few weeks younger than his cheetah BFF. This made for a perfect Fox and the Hound relationship.

Luckily, this story has a happy ending.

According to the zoo, "Wherever Nandi goes, Bowie comes along too so that she always feels comfortable. She doesn’t hesitate to let everyone know when it’s time to play and wrestle with Bowie, or when it’s time to cuddle!"

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