Terrier in wheelchair becomes guide dog for blind fox

Terrier in wheelchair becomes guide dog for blind fox
The pair are inseparable (Picture: Kennedy News)

Get ready to have your heart melt.

A terrier who uses a wheelchair has become an unlikely guide dog for a blind fox, winning them fans as a ‘fox and hound’ duo on walks.

The fox learned to follow the sound of her ‘big brother’s’ wheels, spurring on their sweet relationship.

West highland terrier, Jack was taken in by vet Ana Lapaz-Mendez two months after she gave the one-year-old fox Pumpkin her forever home in East Finchley, North London , late last year. Since then the caring pup has looked out for her.
Footage shows docile Pumpkin following Jack closely using sound and smell while on park walks.

Even cuter, when Pumpkin gets distracted the terrier will patiently wait for her to catch up.

Jack is protective warns other cats and dogs away from bothering Pumpkin too, as Ana says he ‘feels a responsibility to look after her like a brother does with a sister’.

The 42-year-old saved both animals from being put down, after Pumpkin was found with two broken legs and Jack needed constant attention after a spinal tumor halted his ability to walk.

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She says the pair quickly became famous with her neighbours and Instagram videos of their loving relationship have more than 100,000 views.

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.

‘It’s great that Jack has never treated Pumpkin like a fox, thinking he has to chase her. I’m not sure how much Pumpkin is aware that she’s even a fox.’

However, it’s not all endearing as Ana said they clash sometimes in the same way siblings do.

‘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 with her learning difficulties. She needs 100% help.’

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Even so, he’s always there to look out for her.

Ana said: ‘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.

‘It feels good to see, but it feels tiring too. Jack helps Pumpkin but he’s really naughty himself now he’s more independent and thinks he’s top dog.’

Ana believes he’ll probably always need wheels, even though he walks better now than when his tumor was first removed.

Ana’s other rescue dog, Croqueta also takes her turn to check on Pumpkin – but as a fully able dog she’s more help finding Jack when he gets lost in bushes.
Though they used to often walk in Hampstead Heath, North London, the attention from other dogs and owners grew too much.

Ana said: ‘When school 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.’

However, you can catch the duo on video as their walks have been shared across the internet to much excitement.

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Kobin Kuzmia commented on one video, saying: ‘Awww jack and the fox that sounds meant to be.’ Teija Flink said: ‘Amazing the disabled little doggie is a service or guide dog for the fox, really heart-warming.’ Theresa Smith added: ‘This story just warms your heart and makes your soul smile.’

Ana is hoping that as Jack continues to regain strength in his legs he’ll keep checking on Pumpkin – despite his new-found obsession with squirrels.

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