Pig barks up the wrong tree: Prudence the porker thinks she's a dog
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:47 PM on 21st October 2009
A sickly piglet who was saved from death by an animal rescue charity has befriended six dogs who helped raise her.
The real-life Babe the pig, who was born a runt, was due to be shot by owners until staff at the rescue centre took pity on her and adopted her.
The five-week-old piglet, called Prudence, made unlikely friends with a pack of six puppies at the centre and became one of the gang - even chasing sticks and curling up to doze with them.
Paws for thought: Prudence with one of her new doggy friends
Rosie Catford, owner of Wildlives, which normally takes in sick and injured wild animals, said: 'She was sick so we had to keep her near to the house during the day so we could keep an eye on her.
'Before long she had become friendly with Henry the puppy.
'When she first came in four weeks ago she was smaller than him, now she's twice the size.
'She loves to play with the dogs when she's not foraging for acorns and hazelnuts. She jumps around and chases sticks just like they do. It looks quite ridiculous but it seems so natural to her.
'And when they are worn out they all cuddle together and sleep in the meadow. It's lovely to see.'
The unlikely friendship has echoes of Dick King-Smith's novel The Sheep-Pig which became a hit move in 1995.
Prudence like nothing better than a game of fetch the stick, left. The porker plays with one of her canine chums
The charming tale follows Babe the pig's quest to become a champion sheep dog for his owner Farmer Hoggett.
Prudence is a cross between a large white and a Duroc pig and is expected to live for up to 10 years.
Despite normally treating wild animals the playful porcine has become a favourite at the rescue centre in Thorrington, Essex, and will not be re-homed.
Mrs Catford said: 'The volunteers felt so sorry for the piglet - I couldn't really say no.
'It was in a terrible state. It was the runt of the litter and it had terrible skin problems. A volunteer and I gave her a medicated bath. Well, the noise was amazing.
'The volunteer is a Red Cap in the army and has been out to Afghanistan and Iraq. She said bathing the piglet was more noisy than the bombs going off there.
'She was going to be shot and if not shot then slaughtered. But she's here for good now. We literally saved her bacon.'