Beloved Disney movie The Fox and the Hound has been brought to life by an adorable vixen and bulldog duo that have become the best of friends.
Marley, a six-month-old female fox, has found an unlikely friend for life in four-year-old pooch Ernie after she was rescued as a cub.
Marley was found as a tiny two-week-old cub - alone, frightened and very poorly after either being orphaned or abandoned in April.
WIth a rescue centre that would take in the fox cub proving impossible to find, Marley was given to Pauline Ashanolla, 28, who has a passion for saving animals.
Pauline has since dedicated all her time - even giving up her dream job as a dog groomer - to nurse Marley back to health and watch her grow into a gorgeous bushy-tailed vixen.
Along the way, she's seen a beautiful friendship blossom between Marley and her dog Ernie, with the two now inseparable.
The pals cuddle up to each other for every nap, enjoy going on walks in the woods together and love getting up to mischief.
Pauline, of Shanklin, Isle of Wight, said: "Ernie was terrified of Marley at first and she didn't like him but she slowly started sleeping closer to him. After I'd had her about three weeks, they started playing together.
"One day they just started running around together and they have been best friends ever since. They do everything together, they're inseparable. They play with each other all day, they sleep together every night, they go for walks together.
"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. It's so nice seeing how well they've bonded, it's quite an unusual friendship.
"It's like the real-life The Fox and the Hound. Ernie is so gentle and sweet with her, he looks like a little bruiser but he's actually a big baby."
After receiving a late-night call from her friends on 21 April to say they'd found a fox cub alone on the seafront near her home, Pauline rushed to help out.
But the animal-lover was left stunned when she first saw Marley, as the cub was so tiny she fit in the palm of Pauline's hand.
Marley was also so ill, cold and malnourished that Pauline remains certain she would have died if she'd been found just a few minutes later.
Over the next six weeks Pauline had to syringe-feed kitten milk to Marley every 90 minutes through the day and night. Marley was also prescribed various medications for four months as she was riddled with worms and ticks.
Pauline said: "Marley was so poorly when we found her. 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.
"After the first course of medication, it was clear she just wasn't getting better so she ended up on medication for four months. 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 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.
"I love her to bits, she is always happy and very loving. When she gets excited, she can be crazy. She's very chatty and makes lots of weird noises."
As much as she adores Marley, Pauline is keen to hammer home that foxes are not pets and should be left in the wild unless there are extreme circumstances.
And while she loves sharing Marley and Ernie's cute friendship, Pauline doesn't want it to inspire people to go out searching for foxes to take home.
Pauline said: "Some people might think it's cruel that I've kept Marley but she is happy. She was so young when I rescued her that she knows no different, she's not a wild fox.
"She imprinted on me, she thinks I'm her mum. Then she had to be on medication for so long that I can't release her. If she went back into the wild now there is no way she would survive.
"But I definitely don't think foxes should be pets. I don't want people to see that I have a fox and think they should do the same. If you like your house the way it is, you definitely don't want a fox. Marley has trashed my house. Foxes are very destructive and they're smelly."
Well, that's a fox off the cards then.
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