Rescue fox, bulldog have real-life ‘Fox and the Hound’ friendship

These two really will be friends forever.

A woman in England brought movie magic to life when she rescued a baby fox that has become close friends with her 4-year-old bulldog — almost replicating the 1981 animated Disney movie “The Fox and the Hound.”

Pauline Ashanolla, 28, from the Isle of Wight, rescued the fox — who she named Marley — in April, according to DailyMail.com.

Marley was in bad condition and needed medications and plenty of care when Ashanolla found her, she told the British website.

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Aside from Marley’s health, Ashanolla was worried about how Marley would fit in with her other pets — but soon, the fox and Ashanolla’s bulldog Ernie made a connection.

“Ernie was terrified of Marley at first and she didn’t like him but she slowly started sleeping closer to him,” Ashanolla told DailyMail.com.

“After I’d had her about three weeks they started playing together,” she added. “One day they just started running around together and they have been best friends ever since.”

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When Ashanolla found Marley, she was only two weeks old and was so small Ashanolla could fit her in one hand.

“Marley was so poorly when we found her, she was covered in flies and ticks,” she said. “They were in her ears, everywhere. 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.”

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According to DailyMail.com, Ashanolla had to feed kitten milk to Marley every 90 minutes for six weeks. The fox also reportedly had to be on medication for four months because of the worms and ticks.

“I’ve had so much help and advice from vets and fox rescues but it has been a big, big commitment looking after her,” Ashanolla said. “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.”

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Of course, Marley’s friendship with Ernie has also been precious to see.

“They do everything together, they’re inseparable,” Ashanolla said. “They play with each other all day, they sleep together every night, they go for walks together.”

A rescue fox and a bulldog have made the 1981 animated movie "The Fox and the Hound" (pictured) come to life in the Isle of Wight in England. 

A rescue fox and a bulldog have made the 1981 animated movie “The Fox and the Hound” (pictured) come to life in the Isle of Wight in England. 

“It’s so nice seeing how well they’ve bonded, it’s quite an unusual friendship,” she added.

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However, Ashanolla told DailyMail.com that she doesn’t want to encourage people to adopt foxes as pets.

“[Marley] imprinted on me, she thinks I’m her mum,” she said. “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,” she added. “I don’t want people to see that I have a fox and think they should do the same.”

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