Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Quackers duck thinks it is a dog

Essy with Rachka and DD
Essy has become great friends with Rachka and DD

A nine-month-old duck has become a local celebrity in Dorset for her canine capers.

Essy, a Cherry Valley duck, thinks she is a dog and even has her own lead to go for walks around Bournemouth.

Owners Steph, 25, and Tony Tufft, 35, take her out with their Staffordshire cross dogs Rachka, two, and DD, four.

Mrs Tufft says the duck also goes to the pub and gets "quite put out" if she has to be left behind while the dogs are taken out.

"She's famous throughout Charminster," Mrs Tufft said.

'Clean each other'

"She just adores the dogs and is quite the legend in Charminster. She even comes to the pubs with us.

"She curls up with the dogs to sleep and the dogs are incredibly protective of her, they adore her.

I think it's absolutely lovely that she thinks she is a dog
Steph Tufft

"They all clean each other."

Essy has a bedroom in the airing cupboard but prefers to sleep with the dogs.

She also plays in the garden with them and competes for treats.

Mrs Tufft said they got Essy from a duck farm last May.

"I think it's absolutely lovely that she thinks she is a dog. She has been brought up with them," she added.

"She eats from their bowls, plays with them, forages with them.

"She's so funny to watch because she picks up little balls and throws them around the house with the dogs."

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