It's the stuff of Disney fairy tales: A fox and a dog stumble upon each other in the woods and become fast friends. That's what happened last summer, when Norwegian photographer Torgeir Berge went out for a walk with his German shepherd Tinni, and they encountered an abandoned baby fox.
"He was a puppy and probably his mother had died, so he sought help and company, and food," Berit Helberg, who is co-authoring a book with Berge on the unique friendship, told TODAY.com in an email.
Since then the fox, which Berge dubbed Sniffer, has been a regular addition to their walks in the woods, coming around to play with 4-year-old Tinni for a couple of hours on most days. Berge started taking photos of the pair and eventually solicited advice from Helberg, who belonged to the same nature photography group on Facebook, on how to turn his work into a book. Helberg offered to write stories to accompany the pictures, and they hope to bring the friendship to life in a book sometime next year.
"Not many people are privileged to see and enjoy a friendship like this, but Torgeir Berge has both seen them in action and gotten the opportunity to catch this in images that don’t need words," Helberg wrote in post. "Nevertheless, this special couple deserves their own book, mostly because we in this way can be the voice of the animals, help Sniffer's own fox family and breed, and hopefully increase the knowledge for people who are not aware of how similar foxes and dogs actually are."
They also hope the story will raise awareness for animal rights and the conditions that some animals are forced live in as a result of the fur trade, Helberg said.
"Why should some animals be in small, narrow, claustrophobic cages without freedom just because humans want to look good?" he wrote.