THESE heartwarming pictures show the unlikely friendship struck up by a dog and duck who were introduced at an animal rehab centre.
Skip the terrier and Fifty Pence the mallard have become inseparable since they met — with the duck even snuggling up in bed with her new best friend.
Annette Pyrah, who took in the duck, says Fifty Pence believes she is a dog, preens Skip’s ears and even tries to join in when Skip and her collie friend, Holly, play football.
They were introduced two months ago when Annette, of Barlby, who runs the Selby Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre for wounded animals, was given the day-old duckling and took it under her wing.
Annette, 49, said: “Someone brought in the duck when she was just a day old, they had found her in nearby woods where a fox was circling her, so she’s had a very lucky escape.
“When you’re only the size of a fifty pence piece, alone in the forest, cold, frightened and with a hungry fox circling, the outlook is bleak.
“At first I kept her in a little pen under a feather duster, which replicated her mum.
“The dogs sat and gazed at her all day. They’re used to having lots of animals around and they’re very well trained.
“Once I let her out she started following the dogs around. She thinks she is a dog. She’s allowed to roam about the garden so she spends her whole day following Skip. She tries to play football with her, running after the ball and pecking at it, but isn’t able to pick it up with her beak.
“She’s constantly pecking at Skip, trying to groom and preen her ears. Skip doesn’t mind, they play together quite happily although Fifty Pence sometimes annoys her with the pecking.
“She’s even taken up residence in the dog’s pet bed. She sleeps with the dog in the conservatory, and when the dogs are in their bed in the living room, Fifty Pence pecks on the patio door from outside, wanting to be let in.
“She seems to have fallen in love with Skip.”
But Annette is hopeful that Fifty Pence will instead fall in love with one of its own kind, as she’s trying to introduce her to other ducks at her duckpond.
She said: “She’s flapping her wings and soon I expect she will be ready to fly. She’s fully grown now. There are wild ducks who come to my duck pond so I’m hoping Fifty Pence will find a boyfriend there and have some ducklings of her own.
“But when it comes to that, the dogs and I will be sad to see her go.”
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Weather for Selby
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 26 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 31 mph
Wind direction: North east