Deer are generally skittish creatures, usually giving humans and dogs a wide berth. But Kate the great dane and Pippin the deer “bucked” the trend by forming an unlikely bond.
Pippin was found on Isobel Springett’s farm as a baby, orphaned from its mother. Springett began nursing the badly starved deer back to health with the help of Kate, who treated the fawn like her own pup.
Recounting the story on a National Geographic broadcast, Springett said, “Pippin arrived on their porch, weak and close to death. The first three or four days were touch and go, she was so thin.” They kept nursing it, and “all of a sudden one morning we woke up and she was up, she was happy, she was perky.”
Pippin is technically a wild animal, and acts that way most of the time, preferring to sleep outdoors in the forest and staying away from the farm for days at a time. But she faithfully returns to visit her adopted mother Kate.
While it is normally not encouraged to feed wild animals, the unique nature of this relationship means that Pippin receives the occasional treat, but is totally capable of foraging for herself.
Best of all, according to Springett, she’s “pretty sure Pip is pregnant, I’m really hoping for twins.” Looks like Kate is going to be a grandma!