"They do everything together," said Pauline Ashanolla, mom to Marley the rescue fox and Ernie the bulldog

By Claudia Harmata
October 05, 2020 03:07 PM
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Credit: Kennedy News and Media

It's a Disney movie brought to life!

When Pauline Ashanolla rescued a little six-month-old fox, who she named Marley, she wasn't sure how her dogs would take to the new sibling from another species.

"I was worried about Marley at first and how she would get on with the dogs especially. Ernie was terrified of Marley at first and she didn't like him but she slowly started sleeping closer to him," she told Daily Mail of the initial interactions between her bulldog Ernie and Marley.

However, the animals started to form a stronger and stronger bond the more time they spent together.

"After I'd had her about three weeks they started playing together," Ashanolla said. "One day they just started running around together and they have been best friends ever since."

"They do everything together, they're inseparable," she added. "They play with each other all day, they sleep together every night, they go for walks together."

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Ashanolla, an avid animal lover from Isle of Wight in England, said that a couple in her community had found little Marley abandoned in April when the fox was just two weeks old.

Unable to find a nearby animal rescue, they brought the cub to Ashanolla, who gave up her dream of being a dog groomer to treat and care for Marley.

Credit: Kennedy News and Media

"Marley was so poorly when we found her, she was covered in flies and ticks. They were in her ears, everywhere," Ashanolla recalled. "She was throwing up worms, really big ones, they were longer than her. She definitely would have died if she'd been found just 15 minutes later."

For the next six weeks, she nursed the little fox back to health, syringe-feeding her kitten milk every 90 minutes through the day and night and getting her the proper medication to treat her worms and ticks.

"After the first course of medication, it was clear she just wasn't getting better so she ended up on medication for four months," Ashanolla said. "I've had so much help and advice from vets and fox rescues but it has been a big, big commitment looking after her."

"I'm very tired," she added. "She has aged me about 10 years and I had to give up my dream job because this little fox came along but it's all been worth it to see her so happy and healthy."

And Ashanolla has also loved seeing the friendship between Marley and Ernie blossom.

"If I take Ernie out for a walk without Marley, she gets so excited when he gets home. She goes mad, she absolutely loves him," Ashanolla said. "I call Ernie Marley's babysitter, he's my little nanny dog. If I need to get something done or I'm a bit tired, I'll tell him 'go and play with your little sister.'"

"It's so nice seeing how well they've bonded, it's quite an unusual friendship," she added.