The fox and the hound: Meet unlikely friends Sadie the Jack Russell and Anuska the orphan cub... who's learnt a few dog tricks
They're happy to engage in rough and tumble, and even spring into the air to catch a ball, just like any pair of playful dogs.
But the bond between these two scamps is an unlikely one – for one is a Jack Russell terrier and the other is a young vixen.
Just as in the children’s cartoon film The Fox And The Hound, the animals, which might normally be considered enemies, have become firm friends.
Inseparable: Ten-year-old Sadie the Jack Russell terrier and eight-month-old Anuska the vixen enjoy a play fight
Orphan fox cub Anuska has been learning acrobatic moves from her new best friend, Sadie the Jack Russell
Unlikely playmates as they are, it brings to mind the Disney film The Fox And The Hound
The 1981 animation sees the animals strike up a friendship against all odds as they are natural enemies
The two have become inseparable, and even go out on walks together with their owner, art teacher Brian Bevan, who says that eight-month-old Anuska has become as obsessed with catching balls as ten-year-old Sadie.
‘It’s hardly surprising to see a dog jumping around but watching a fox do it is something else,’ said Mr Bevan, 62, from Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.
‘Anuska loves playing catch. She could do it all day long. She leaps for the ball but she also likes berries, so she’ll happily jump to pick those off branches too.’.
Anuska poses among some bluebells... and so does her new best canine friend Sadie
Just days after being born, Anuska's mother was hit by a car. Brian Bevan, from Bedfordshire, took the vulnerable cub into his home after she was found by a farmer along with nine other cubs
While the dog and fox are similar sizes, Sadie tends to win play fights – but Anuska displays some natural cunning when it comes to the important matter of meal times.
Mr Bevan said: ‘When she hears me putting anything out she darts over straight away. If I have food on me she’ll even jump up at me and stick her nose in my pocket to try to find it.’
He added: ‘The second we introduced Anuska to Sadie they got on really well and played happily together. There was no hostility, they took to each other brilliantly.’
Foxes have become increasingly bold in recent years as they hunt for food in urban areas, and have been known to attack humans occasionally. But Mr Bevan had no concern about taking one into his home. ‘I’d actually always wanted a fox, so when this opportunity came about I was thrilled,’ he said.
Anuska immediately formed a strong bond with ten-year-old Sadie and now the pair can often be seen jumping around together - making for some unusual picture opportunities for Brian