By Lucy Notarantonio
An adorable dog has taken a baby goat in like one of her own and even enjoys helping with the night feed.
Ivy, who is a chesapeake bay retriever, mothers her farm friend Donkey, who is a goat, like he is her baby.
The pair have formed an unlikely friendship that appears to be like a mother and son relationship as caring Ivy, 6, bottle feeds Donkey, who is three months old and even collects twigs for him to chew on.
Farm owner, Kelly Lyn Brunelle, 51, says her dog would rather ‘hang out with humans than other dogs’ which is why she may have taken on the duty of bottle-feeding Donkey.
Retired swimming instructor, Kelly, has three other dogs, cats, pigs, chickens and another goat – but Ivy and Donkey’s bond is unbreakable.
Kelly, from Tennessee, US said: “A local farmer didn’t want Donkey and his brother, Fireball, anymore so I took them under my wing.
“They were only two days old so required bottle feeding and Ivy had taken an interest in the new members of our gang, I knew she would be able to help me out.
“Ivy has always been easy to train so she was the perfect extra pair of ‘hands’ for helping with the newborn goats.
“She is quite protective over Donkey and makes sure he has got all the twigs he needs to chew on when we are walks.
“They are always kind to each other; I think Donkey thinks he is a puppy and will often chase her around the garden.
“Ivy even walks him by putting his lead in her mouth and they also nap together which is super sweet.
“She is an incredibly unique dog who loves to help out, it didn’t take long to show her how to bottle feed.
“I think Ivy thinks she is a human as she would rather hang out with us than her mum Willow and grandma Fern.”
When Ivy isn’t helping with baby goat duties, she is a therapy dog for an elderly home and children at a local library.
Kelly adds: “Ivy is a social butterfly; she loves meeting new people and they love meeting her too as she is so calm.
“It has been amazing to watch her, and Donkey form an amazing bond and it has made me want to breed her.
“I have previously looked for dogs to breed Ivy with, but they have never been good enough, she is one of a kind and certainly deserves the best of the best.”