A runt piglet called Prudence, saved by an animal charity, has joined the pack of six dogs that helped with her upbringing.
The poorly piglet, at just five weeks old, would have been shot by her owners but an animal rescue centre adopted her.
Prudence made herself at home with a rather unlikely group of six puppies in the rescue centre and grew up with the dogs. She has become part of their pack and curls up to sleep with them – she even chases sticks like a dog.
Wildlives is an animal rescue charity that usually rescues injured or sickly wild animals. The owner of Wildlives, Rosie Catford, said:
‘She was sick so we had to keep her near to the house during the day so we could keep an eye on her. Before long she had become friendly with Henry the puppy. When she first came in four weeks ago she was smaller than him, now she’s twice the size.
‘She loves to play with the dogs when she’s not foraging for acorns and hazelnuts. She jumps around and chases sticks just like they do. It looks quite ridiculous but it seems so natural to her. And when they are worn out they all cuddle together and sleep in the meadow. It’s lovely to see.’
The story is reminiscent of The Sheep-Pig, a novel by Dick King-Smith that was turned into a movie back in 1995 and was a huge hit with children. The story stars Babe the pig on his quest to become a sheep dog.
Mrs Catford continued: ‘The volunteers felt so sorry for the piglet – I couldn’t really say no. It was in a terrible state. It was the runt of the litter and it had terrible skin problems. A volunteer and I gave her a medicated bath. Well, the noise was amazing.
‘The volunteer is a Red Cap in the army and has been out to Afghanistan and Iraq. She said bathing the piglet was more noisy than the bombs going off there. She was going to be shot and if not shot then slaughtered. But she’s here for good now. We literally saved her bacon.’
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