A rescue duck and cocker spaniel have become an unlikely pair of best friends – sharing meals, snuggling, and even rolling around on the floor together.
When owners Sarah-Jayne Little, 26, and Sam Leadley, 27, brought their new pup, Fern, to their Whitby, Yorkshire home in February, they worried their duck Dennis might be territorial.
However, it quickly became clear to the couple that the two-year-old duck would not bite the new dog and they have been playing together ever since.
Owners Sarah-Jayne Little, 26, and Sam Leadley, 27, from Whitby (pictured) were concerned their pet duck would be territorial when they brought home a new pup in February
Now the first thing in the morning when Dennis is released from his stable, Dennis walks the farm in search of his puppy friend.
Six month old Fern will not only roll around on the ground with her bird friend sharing his food, she will also watch him swim across her little pond “to make sure he is safe”.
Account Manager Sarah-Jayne said, “They love to hunt each other all day every day. When Dennis comes into the pond, Fern is watching over him.
“She’s not brave enough to come in with him yet, but she stands by the side and looks over him so he’s safe.
It quickly became clear, however, that Dennis the Duck and six-month-old cocker spaniel Fern would become their best buddies and have played together ever since
Sarah-Jayne says Fern watches the two-year-old duck swim in the pond “to make sure he’s safe,” but he’s not brave enough to join him
“They roll around together on the floor every day now. She will lie down and make Dennis jump on her while playing. We worried that it might have been territorial, but now it’s definitely playing.
“Dennis was boss from day one, but they’ve become best friends ever since. Everything is a game for them now.
“The first thing Dennis does in the morning is look for Fern. If for some reason she’s not with us later in the day, it can be seen that he is disappointed. ‘
Sarah-Jayne and Carpenter Sam rescued Dennis earlier this year along with another duck named Dorothy and now have four ducks, four chickens and a rooster with Fern.
Now Dennis walks around the farm every morning when he’s released from his stable looking for his puppy friend and they often play rolling around on the floor together
Sarah-Jayne stated that Dennis was boss “from day one” but they have become best friends and everything is a game to them
The couple saved Dennis along with another duck named Dorothy earlier this year and now have four ducks, four chickens and a rooster along with the dog Fern
Sarah-Jayne said, “Fern doesn’t care about our other three ducks, and they don’t care about them either. It’s just Dennis who made the cut.
“I think she realized she had to adjust to him, which helped. Knowing him since childhood, she knows she’s playing with him instead of chasing him.
“He’s very brave, and if we take Fern out every morning to see all the animals, Dennis will run over to her first.
“What’s even funnier is that Dennis doesn’t care about other dogs. If our family brings their dogs, he doesn’t mind at all.
Sam, who works as a carpenter, and Sarah-Jayne, who works as an account manager, say Fern even shares her feed with her bird friend
The special friendship between the couple is unique, as Dennis is not interested in any other dogs and Fern has a hunting instinct with other birds – except Dennis
“Since she is a working dog, Fern will still flush other birds when we go for a walk, but because she has had Dennis there since childhood, that hunting connection was never made.
“Some people have suggested that Dennis was a little confused and into long distance, but it’s definitely a friendship.
“When Dennis started chasing her, Fern wasn’t exactly sure what was going on, and I think she was a little scared, but when he let her in and wouldn’t hurt her, she ran after him too.”