A Staffordshire bull terrier has been dubbed “pirate dog” in his local town after forging an inseparable bond – with a PARROT.
Cracker, a nine-year-old African Grey, would get mad at her owner Bernard Chamberlain, 52, when he took his dog Dudley for a walk each morning.
So Bernard – known as Bunny – caved into the bird’s jealous squawks and decided to let her come along with them one day.
Now the exotic parrot is turning heads on the streets of Leicester by hitching a daily ride on the shoulder of the six-year-old pooch.
Bernard, a bricklayer, says: “It started as a bit of a laugh really.
“Cracker doesn’t like to be left out. I’d take Dudley for his walk and she’d start squawking.
“So I thought, ‘Well, I know I’ll take her with us’.
“The first few times were they went out was interesting, but they’re as good as gold now.”
“Dudley is a Staffordshire bull terrier, and I know those dogs have a reputation, but he’s not the violent one.
“She’s the vicious one she’s nipping at people all the time. Dudley is a soft lad.
“I had her first, but then I took on Dudley as a favour four years ago.
“When Dudley arrived it took a long time for her to get used to him, so I tried to smooth things over for her.
“I got them to spend more time together, to have their meals together, and although she was having none of it at the start, I think she’s grown quite fond of him now.
“They’ve developed a special bond and I think they really like each other.”
“The biggest problem is other dogs, who lunge at Dudley and Cracker.
“He’s a laid back lad, but he doesn’t like other dogs going for Cracker. He’s very protective of her now.
“Everyone has started calling him Dudley the pirate dog – I might rename him Patch.”
Bernard only walks them in the summer because Cracker doesn’t like the cold, and she often wolf-whistles at passers-by.
And he has a special harness for her so she doesn’t get too far away.
Fellow dog walker Fran Timson, 40, added: “Dudley and Cracker are local celebrities. We’ve all seen plenty of pirates with a parrot on their shoulder but never a dog.
“It is quite a sight and everybody loves them both, especially the kids.”