Friday, January 14, 2011

I don't mind if you hog the limelight! The formerly prickly pair who are now best friends


My tiny spiny pal: Mary the terrier shares the sofa with Mini Hog the African albino pygmy hedgehog

Their first meeting was a little prickly, but now it’s clearly puppy love.

Side by side on the sofa, Mini Hog the African albino pygmy hedgehog and Mary the terrier couldn’t look cosier in each other’s company.

Equally at home – and seemingly equally unlikely pals – are Puddles the duck and Jessie the doberman, and Gladys the cockerel and Snowy the cat.

The three sets of creatures appear in the latest edition of Country Life in a feature about extraordinary animal friendships.

Dog and duck: Puddles the duck with Jessie the doberman look happy in each other's company

Mini Hog and Mary became friends after owners Charles and Charlotte Sainsbury-Plaice bought the hedgehog for their four children.

Mary and her siblings Mungo and Miggs were understandably curious when introduced to Mini Hog and their natural inquisitiveness led to a few uncomfortable encounters. Mr Sainsbury-Plaice, 44, a sporting and wildlife photographer, said: ‘They didn’t hit it off straight away, but any unwanted attention was repelled by her putting her spines up.

‘After a few pricks on the nose, the dogs soon learnt their lesson and they all get along fine now.’

Which came first... The chicken and the cat. Gladys (left), a crossbreed chicken, and Snowy (right) get on just fine

Mini Hog, two, lives under a settle by the Aga at the family’s Warwickshire home and is so relaxed around the dogs that sometimes she even lies on them when they are asleep.

Puddles the duck, meanwhile, prefers the company of Jessie the doberman to living in the garden with the hens at Jacqueline Meadows’ home in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.

And Gladys – who turned out to be a cockerel after being named – formed a bond with Snowy the cat at Jane Etheridge’s home near Middleton, Suffolk, after a fox killed his feathered friends.

Resting with a friend: Puddles the duck with Shadow the Alsatian

Revealed: Extraordinary animal relationships

source: dailymail

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