A tiny foal rejected by its mother thinks he is a dog after being raised with two Labradors.
Little Rory was taken in by a horse sanctuary when he was a just day old after his mother rejected him.
The poorly pony was nursed back to health by devoted staff and the sanctuary’s dogs picking up some surprising habits as a result, including chasing sticks and frisbees and drinking from a dog bowl.
Sue Allery, manager of the Essex Horse and Pony sanctuary said: ‘He was tiny when he came in, half the size of the dogs.
‘He wouldn’t take milk from a bottle so we had to put it in a dog bowl. ‘We used to cuddle him on our laps and he’d fall fast asleep.
Because he was so small he slept in the office on duvet and the dogs and cats curled up with him.’ The critically-ill pony had to be fed every 15 minutes and cost more than £6,000 in vets bills before he was deemed to be out of danger.
Ms Allery added: ‘Because he was so small he got to know the dogs more than the horses. ‘They all ran around together.
My husband bought a frisbee and threw it across the yard – Rory went after it just like the dogs. ‘He even started picking up twigs and sticks for us to throw.
‘He loves the dogs because they are the same size as him, he thought he was a dog. ‘Millie particularly loves him because she is young too. They play together like puppies, pushing each other and chasing each other.’
Now he has recovered from his brush with death, three-month-old Rory – who will only grow to nine hands tall – has been given a equine role model… Nanna Bracken.
Ms Allery said: ‘As soon as he was well enough we started stabling him, he got to be a proper pony now and do pony things.
‘We can’t state the importance of him being a pony, for his own sake he’s got to learn he’s a horse. ‘We have put him in with Nanna Bracken and eventually he’ll go out with the other horses and ponies.
‘He came from a fantastic and loving home but we came to love him so much we asked them if he could stay with us. We absolutely adore him.’
Video: London News
Video: Little Rory