THE REAL LIFE FOX AND THE HOUND: MEET UNLIKELY FRIENDS CORA THE HUSKY AND TEAGAN THE FULLY DOMESTICATED FOX CUB WHO HAVE FORMED AN UNBREAKABLE BOND
By Joshua Nevett
They’re supposed to be sworn enemies, with one forced to hunt and kill the other for sport.
But despite their natural instincts, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were a couple of playful pups, as this unlikely fox and hound pairing have formed an unbreakable bond.
Whether they’re play fighting in the garden, or snuggling up together on the sofa, Cora, a Siberian husky, and Teagan, a young vixen, are completely inseparable.
Channelling the Disney film The Fox And The Hound, the lovable pair, who you would usually expect to be mortal enemies, spend almost every waking hour together at their home in Chicago, USA.
Fox cub Teagan was adopted by Chris and Ashley Daley, both 27, in 2013 from a certified breeder in Illinois, where it is legal to breed the animal if you obtain a special permit.
Usually pitted against each other in the name of hunting, the couple expected it might come to blows between the animals, but they have instead become best friends.
An already established member of the family, seven-year-old Cora, who was adopted from an animal shelter at age three, was quick to take Teagan under his wing.
And most remarkably, the pair, who play catch and even go on walks together, have never had a fight.
Graphic designer Ashley, from Chicago, USA, said: “As anyone can see when you watch them together, they have a special bond.
“Cora is a very friendly dog, and Teagan just got attached to Cora.
“When in playing mode, if Teagan doesn't want Cora to take something, Teagan will put her back to Cora and will often sit on Cora's head, but there’s no malice.
“If Teagan starts playing rough, Cora will push her down with her paw which is her way of telling her to calm down.
“That is how we know those two get along so well. It’s all rough and tumble, they never actually fight.”
To adopt a fox in Chicago, Illinois, the owner must purchase the animal from a licensed breeder and pay an annual fee for a Fur-bearing Mammal Breeder Permit, which can be sought from the local authority.
After a year of research, Chris and Ashley adopted Teagan from a breeder in Indiana, who had been raising foxes for 20 years.
The couple raised Teagan - who they compare to a cross between a cat and a dog - like a puppy, and have even taught her tricks such as ‘paw’ and ‘sit’.
In scenes reminiscent of the 1981 film The Fox And The Hound, in which a young fox befriends a puppy, the couple have filmed adorable footage of them playing together in their garden.
Chris, a logistics manager, said: “Foxes are known to be compared to a cat and a dog.
“Teagan is fully domesticated and lives in the house with us.
“We got Teagan when she was about six weeks old and have raised her like you would a puppy, but still treat her like fox in some areas because they are not puppies and require some special treatment.
“But Teagan has always wagged her tail when she sees Cora, and us, of course.
“They both just love being together and playing non-stop.
“They literally are a Fox And The Hound kind of story.”