How Albany’s Alan the duck and Zelda the golden retriever have become best friends
Alan was a lonely duckling when Zelda took him under her paw, and the pair are now inseparable at their home in Albany on WA’s south coast.
The unlikely friendship began two years ago, when Chris Toovey’s golden retriever Zelda first met Alan.
“We got Alan when he was five days old,” Mrs Toovey said.
“It all started by simply sitting on the lawn and Zelda being curious … and it was just us enforcing her to be gentle.
Friendship runs like clockwork
Every day the two friends enjoy an evening catch-up around 6pm.
“Alan will come up from the dam and I think he’s missed her during the day,” Mrs Toovey said.
“She literally stands there as he goes under her ears and under her tummy. She doesn’t give much back; I think it’s a one-way thing.
“If Zelda tries to walk away before Alan’s finished giving her his cuddles, he’ll actually stand in front of her so she can’t move.”
While the pairing might seem strange to an outsider, it’s not unusual in the Toovey household.
Zelda’s grandmother brought up a lamb, even sharing her dog biscuits. And Zelda’s aunt raised Alan’s son Nigel, who turned into Nigella after she started laying eggs.
“It’s very normal for us,” Mrs Toovey said.