Usually stories between a fox and a hound don’t end well, especially for the former, but a new friendship has formed between two animals who, under normal circumstances, wouldn’t be classed as best buddies.
Pumpkin the fox has vision loss so is unable to fend for herself, fortunately she is assisted by Jack, a disabled terrier who uses a customised wheelchair after a spinal tumour prevented his ability to walk.
Jack frequently takes his new friend on walks and when necessary, waits for her to catch up before they wander off home for a cuddle with fellow recue dog Croqueta.
The three amazing animals are pets to a vet called Ana Lapaz-Mendez from East Finchley, North London.
Ana, 42, told The Mirror Jack feels a responsibility to look after Pumpkin like a brother does with a sister”.
“It's great that Jack has never treated Pumpkin like a fox, thinking he has to chase her.”
The vet continued: “I'm not sure how much Pumpkin is aware that she's even a fox.
“It's not the perfect relationship because sometimes Jack gets annoyed with her, but it's like a brother and sister relationship.
“He tells Pumpkin off a lot when she needs it without hurting her, but I'm not sure how much she understands.
“If another dog goes for Pumpkin or tries to smell her, Jack defends her. He's got between a cat and Pumpkin and told the cat off.
“Jack helps Pumpkin but he's really naughty himself now he's more independent and thinks he's top dog.”
Pumpkin was found with two broken legs in October when Ana was out walking near her veterinary clinic at Medivet Carpenders Park in Watford last October, it wasn’t long until it was apparent the fox was blind and unable to survive in the wild.
Jack was taken in two months later when his previous owner passed away, the pooch is gradually strengthening his leg muscles, but still needs a wheelchair for walkies.
Ana said: “Jack was really slow at first and didn't know the area so he'd follow me and then Pumpkin would follow him.
“Whenever she hears the wheels she will go in that direction. If the sound of the wheels are behind her, she'll stop, do a circle and follow them. At night she'll even run next to Jack.
“Now Jack can move better, he's begun to be more interested in squirrels, but he'll still come and check. He'll walk off and then wait for Pumpkin. It's become a natural thing now.”
Rescue dog Croqueta is non-disabled, so he’s perfect finding Jack when he hides in bushes and takes turns looking after Pumpkin.
As you can imagine the furry trio gain quite a bit of attention when they are out and about.
Ana said: “When children are around they like getting close to Pumpkin because he's a fox that won't run away. Everybody loves them.
“I've heard a lot of people on walks talking about Jack and his wheels and then they see the fox is coming along too. There were too many people so we walk in quieter areas now.”
Ana made Pumpkin a hammock so she could rest her legs when she first took the fox in.
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