Guernsey cider farm dog 'adopts' abandoned lamb

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Media captionTia the Labrador has displayed motherly behaviour around the lamb

A pet Labrador has adopted a newborn lamb abandoned by its mother after it was born prematurely.

Tia, the resident dog of a Guernsey cider farm, took four-day-old Rocky under her paw after he was rejected at birth.

The Shropshire lamb, part of a flock to keep the grass short at the farm, was born ten weeks early.

Since then Tia has displayed motherly behaviour towards Rocky, who has been given "quite a pick up" as a result.

The Rocquette Cider Company in Guernsey introduced the Shropshire breed in 2013 after the previous flock started eating the apples trees.

Image caption Rocquette Cider Company's owner James Meller keeps Shropshire sheep in the orchards to keep the grass short

Owner James Meller said he had brought Rocky into the house after he was abandoned and he believes that led to Tia treating the lamb as a companion.

"Tia's a lovely dog, she's been on the farm and around the animals. It's not usual that she's allowed so close to them," he said.

"Having the animal around the house, she saw it as a companion and took a shine to it."

Mr Meller, who has been bottle-feeding the lamb, added: "Hopefully we'll return Rocky to the flock once he's strong enough."

But for now he believes the relationship between dog and lamb will continue.

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