The Fox and the Terrier
By Carie Broecker
Images Courtesy of Caters News
The fox and the wolf are both from the canid family. Dogs are the domesticated descendants of wolves, whereas foxes, for the most part, have remained wild.
For most foxes and dogs, their paths may never cross. Fortunately, in 2005, using scent hounds to hunt foxes was banned in the United Kingdom, making that statement truer than ever.
So how do a fox cub and a Jack Russell Terrier in England become the best of friends?
Anuska, or “Annie” for short, is a fox cub who was orphaned when only a few days old, along with her eight siblings. A caring farmer found the cubs’ deceased mother on the side of the road and dug the young foxes out of their den to rescue them from starvation and predators.
The farmer bottle-fed and raised the cubs for six weeks in the company of his Labrador Retrievers and then found homes for each of them. One of the couples that stepped up to the challenge of bringing a fox cub into their life was Brian and Jacky Bevin of Bedfordshire, England.
Brian, a wildlife photographer, was especially enchanted with the chance to raise a fox and photograph her exploits. Since Annie spent the first few months of her life around dogs, she took to the Brian’s Jack Russell Terriers immediately, especially to ten-year-old Sadie. Sadie had a motherly instinct and had always looked after anything that squeaked. The two bonded and soon became inseparable.
Annie followed Sadie’s lead and was soon jumping to catch and fetch balls, learning to ride calmly in the car, and wagging her tail when happy. She became part of the pack.
Brian taught Annie to come to a whistle and takes her on walks with his dogs. The dogs and fox frolic together—wrestling and tussling and having a grand time.
This little vixen has also taught the dogs a few things. She taught them the fun of hunting for insects and mice—a wild instinct buried in her DNA that was not taught to her. She also has a taste for cherries and snails—two common fox delicacies that her dog-siblings still do not understand.
Annie is a wild animal at heart though. Brian is quick to remind anyone who will listen that foxes do belong in the wild. Even Annie, having been raised by humans, has her wild instincts. She can become frightened, and when frightened she will not hesitate to bite—even the hand that feeds her. And her teeth are much sharper than a dog’s teeth.
Brian acknowledges that Annie is a responsibility for life. She could not survive on her own in the wild, and her lack of fear of humans would put her at risk of being shot. Brian and Jacky are prepared to meet the many challenges that may arise in the future and are committed to caring for Annie for the rest of her life. She is a valued and beloved member of their family.
Visit Brian’s website at www.brianbevanphotography.com to see gorgeous photos of Annie as a young cub in a bluebell wood, exploring a poppy meadow, taking her first swim, experiencing her first snowfall, and more.