The Horse Who Thinks He Is A Dog


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

Daily Mail, UK


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25 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Awww, what a sweetheart! My horses would love him!

  2. He sure is the cutest little thing. Thanks for stopping by !

  3. Absolutely adorable. Especially with his little blanket on.

  4. Sure agree! What fun to have that little guy around ! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Bless you for caring for little Rory. And for your awareness that he needs to learn to be a horse, because he cannot be fulfilled in life without this, just like the rest of us need to discover our own identities.

  6. This is a heartwarming tale – brings out the importance of animal rescue – how different the world would be without Little Rory.

  7. It’s a wonderful feeling when animals find a happy home. What enjoyment that little Rory is already. He certainly seems to have a great personality.

  8. CUTE! Its well adorable. My mare has just had a foal (colt). Its fortunate my mare didn’t reject him. It’s great that the Shetland is well! Do you keep him inside?

  9. How cute is that little boy, I could pick him up and eat him !

  10. He is so cute! It’s a good thing I’m not in charge, though. I think I’d rather have a Shetland that thinks he’s a lab than have a Shetland that knows he’s a Shetland. For my own good.

  11. he is so cute its hard to believe that he is a shetland than a dog

  12. My friend, Misty(Horse) and my female dog, Sheba would love that little horse/ dog XD

  13. OWWWWWwww thats so cute i would love a horse like that

  14. hi my name is holly,
    i love horses soo much.
    i have 3 of my own but i hardly ever see them much.
    just got a new 1 called pegy shes a grey pony.
    i reli think that this pony is cute thinking its a dog.

    luv horses!!!<3

  15. I know i dosay thatpretty much any animal is cute but this little pony is adorable.

  16. I Love Horses and Ponies!! He’s adorable. I am glad he is well again.

  17. he is beautiful only wish all the horses would be as loved and well taken care of as this little guy there is so much abuse and need out there

  18. he is so cute wish i had a horse like that. thinking its a dog makes it more cute xx
    from Rio x

  19. Hi there – I am Rory’s “mum”! He was 2 years old last October and has grown into a cheeky little fellow. Rory is VERY bright and always a step ahead of me! I am looking to drive him next year with a “Saddle Chariot” so that we can have fun together. He has quite a following here in England and all the liveries on my yard love him. Rory is a real people pony and loves dressing up and being the centre of attention. If you would like some up to date photos of the little man, please let me know and I’ll gladly send some over to you. Sue Allery, Essex Horse and Pony Protection Society, Basildon, Essex, England

    Hi Sue,
    So glad to hear from “Rory’s Mom”. Would love an update and photos of this adorable little guy. Will contact you.

  20. that pony is so cute

  21. What a wonderful, heartwarming story about rescuing an equine friend in need, his beautiful friendship with humans and other animals, and honoring his need to be equine. Thank you for sharing – beautiful! Simply beautiful!!!

  22. he is soooooooooooooooo cute! i dont have a horse but im crazy about them. little rory is so adorable and so is your dog!

  23. Rory is soooooo cute!! my sheland storm wood loveee!! him and my big horse chester he’s an arab cross welsh he’s beatufil! and so is rory my shetland some time’s think’s hes a dog he’s chesnut and white and so is my big horse :D:D:D:D:D:D:)

  24. thats adorable!

  25. That is the most adorable pony. Is that a dog blanket on the pony? My friend has a mini and it is so cute when it runs around in the field! Although he is no where near as cute as Rory:).

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