Video: Piglet and boxer dog strike up unlikely friendship at Norfolk animal sanctuary
It looks like a scene from the hit movie Babe – a pig and a dog rolling around like the best of friends.
But for two rescue animals who have found comfort in each other, it is a real-life fairytale ending that has garnered them a cult following.
The friendship between Tabitha the piglet and Susie the boxer dog has made them a YouTube sensation, with almost 90,000 hits in just over a week.
Susie, a five-year-old ex-breeding dog was rescued from a West Wales puppy farm and Tabitha was found abandoned near Norwich at just five weeks old.
The pair now live at the Hillside Animal Sanctuary at Frettenham near Norwich.
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The rapid success of the video of them playing, titled 'Piggy' and 'Puggy', set to the Monkees' I'm a believer, has come as a happy surprise to staff at the sanctuary.
Wendy Valentine, the founder of Hillside, said the pair are inseparable and they eat, sleep and play together.
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'It is really a wonderful relationship to witness – it seems they are absolutely besotted with each other.
'Five-week-old Tabitha was a new born when she was found close to death by the side of a road in Norfolk when she was just a couple of days old. She still had her umbilical cord attached. She was found shivering and alone by a woman on a country lane on the outskirts of Norwich. She brought her in under her jumper and I took her home to put under a heat lamp.
'They just took an instant shine to each other.
'I think at first Susie wanted to mother Tabitha, but as she's grown older they seem to be the very best of friends.
'They are always together and don't like being separated, even curling up to sleep with each other and eating next to each other.
'Susie is very gentle with her – it's almost like she instinctively knows she's just a baby.'
'Sometimes they race around, rolling on their backs playing, and you can't help but smile.'
Mrs Valentine said the online interest in the couple was 'amazing' and hoped it would raise awareness of the work that animal sanctuaries like hers do.
'We just hope that, especially at this time of year, this kind of film will remind people about the many millions of animals suffering every day in the intensive factory farming industry.
'Thankfully, Tabitha will never know about that kind of life as she will live here at Hillside for the rest of her days.'
'Tabitha is growing so fast though we're just worried that in a few weeks she might end up squashing Susie by accident,' she said.
'We've never known anything like this before for two such different animals to have become so close.'
People can sponsor rescue dog Susie by signing up to Hillside's Adopt an animal scheme.
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