True love.
Credit: Media Mode Pty Ltd/Rex/Rex USA. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

Foxhounds generally hunt foxes, not care for them. But sometimes maternal and paternal instincts are so strong they override pesky hindrances like those that determine who is predator and who is prey.

In her book, "One Big Happy Family," author Lisa Rogak profiles 47 unlikely animal pairs. Their stories are inspiring tales of an animal stepping in to take over the role of parent regardless of being, say, a chicken when the child in question is a very small dog.  

Here are 30 of the most unusual, most heartwarming pairs:

Reuters/Thomas Mukoya. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

1. The baboon and her bush baby

A 7-month-old yellow baboon started treating a 3-month-old bush baby as her own when he arrived at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage in Kenya. Today, they hardly leave each other's side, drinking from the same water bowl and just generally hugging to their hearts' content.

Richard Austin/Rex US. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

2. The boxer and his kid

Billy the boxer's paternal instinct kicked in almost as soon as he saw Lilly the goat, according to Elizabeth Tozer of the Pennywell Farm wildlife center at Buckfastleigh, in Devon, in the UK. “Lilly follows Billy around, which is really quite amusing to watch, and Billy sleeps with the goat and cleans her mouth after she feeds,” said Tozer.

Gallo Images/Rex/Rex USA. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

3. The border collie and his tiger cub

Solo the border collie's gotta herd something. In addition to tiger cubs, he cares for hyena pups at the Seaview Lion Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Courtesy of Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

4. The ginger tomcat and his lion cub

Arnie, the tomcat, took it upon himself to nuzzle and nurture Zara, the lion cub. Zara, the runt of the litter, struggled after she was born at a zoo in Cambridgeshire, UK. The zoo director, Kim Simmons, took Zara home to bottle feed her, and Kim's pet cat Arnie did the rest. 

Karine Aigner/Rex/Rex USA. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

5. The chicken, the goose and their three ducklings

A chicken named Henrietta and a goose named Gertie were unable to have younguns of their own. So, what did they do? When a mama duck inexplicably up and left her nest of hatching eggs, they stepped in to become surrogate parents. According to Rogak, "The two moms split parenting responsibilities: Henrietta handles care and feeding while Gertie naturally serves as swimming instructor and lifeguard."

Adam Harnett/Caters. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

6. The chicken and her Rottweiler pups

All hens like to stay warm. But Mabel likes to more than most, apparently. That's probably what prompted her to hop in the basket with a slew of Rottweiler puppies. Nettle, the pups' mom, was out on the farm in Shrewsbury, England, when Mabel first had her way. When Nettle returned, the crew needed some time to adjust to their new family dynamics.

John Drysdale. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

7. The chimpanzee and her puppies

Anna, the chimp, lives at a small wildlife park near Daventry, England, with a mix of wild and domesticated animals. Anna possesses extremely strong maternal instincts and is always interested whenever a resident dog has a litter. She watches intently as the mother nurses and afterwards cradles the little pup as if it's her own.

Media Mode Pty Ltd/Rex/Rex USA. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

8. The Dalmatian and her lamb

When a ewe rejected its newborn lamb on a farm in Barossa Valley, Australia, the strangest thing happened: Zoe, the Dalmatian, stepped in. Zoe and the lamb have the same pattern on their coats, as you can see. A natural pair, in a sense.

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9. The dog and his baby badger

When a newly orphaned baby badger, later named David, showed up at Secret World Wildlife Rescue animal sanctuary in Somerset, UK, Murray eagerly took on parenting duties. Murray, a German Shepherd Doberman mix, was 4 years old at the time.

John Drysdale. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

10. The dog and her bush baby

Bush babies are kind of high maintenance. They basically need to cling to a warm body 24 hours a day. So, zookeepers were grateful when Judy, a mutt, eagerly provided a perch for this infant bush baby, who had been rejected by his mum at a small zoo near Tamworth, Staffordshire, England.

Courtesy of Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

11. The Yellow Lab and his duckling

Many Labs are prized as skilled duck hunters, but not Fred. As soon as Fred saw Dennis, the duckling, who was in bad shape after his mother had been killed by a fox, Fred went right up to the little guy and started licking him clean. The two have been inseparable ever since. They cozy up to each other in the evenings, and Fred accompanies Dennis to the pond during the day. The pair lives at an animal sanctuary near Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted, Essex, England.

Helen Neafsey/ Hearst Connecticut Media Group. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

12. The foxhound and her fox kits

Mama, the foxhound, was called in from North Carolina when an African fennec fox named Fiona became pregnant in Connecticut. Fiona had previously tried to eat her litter, and zookeepers weren't keen to let her try again. Meanwhile, Mama was so-called because of her raging maternal instincts, which completely overshadowed the hunting purposes for which her breed is known. It took some finnagling, but eventually everyone relaxed into their new family dynamic. Hey, opposites attract.

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13. The dog and his joey

When Rex, a 10-year-old Pointer mix, saw a dead kangaroo by the side of the road in Victoria, Australia, he rescued the little joey that was still in its mother's pouch. Rex dropped the baby kangaroo at his owner's feet and then started licking and nuzzling him. The two bonded quickly and did a lot of jumping together in the few days before the baby roo, dubbed Rex Jr., was taken to live at Jirrahlinga Koala Wildlife Sanctuary.

Top Photo Group/Rex USA. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

14. The dog and his monkey baby

When a baby monkey lost both his parents at a zoo in Jiaozuo, in the Chinese province of Henan, the other monkeys in his enclosure started bullying him. The situation got so tense that zoo keepers introduced the baby to a dog named Sai Hu, thinking the dog could help protect the monkey. The idea worked. Within minutes of when the dog arrived, the baby monkey hopped on his back and has rarely left since.

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15. The dog and her owlet

Kiera, a German shorthaired pointer, took to Cherub, a white-faced scops owl, as soon as she laid eyes on him at the home of her owner, Karen Andriunas, who founded Devon Bird of Prey Centre in Newton Abbot in the UK. The dog rarely lets Cherub out of her sight.

John Drysdale. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

16. The bulldog and her baby squirrels

Leslie Clews of Warwickshire, England, found three baby squirrels in his garden after a particularly nasty storm. He placed the bedraggled tots in the basket with the family bulldog, Susie, who had recently given birth and was preparing to send her puppies off into the world. The squirrel babies quite literally took over where Susie's pups left off.

John Drysdale. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

17. The dog and her baby llama

Mahogany, a baby llama, was rejected by her mother, and Rosie, a mix between a pointer and a Rhodesian ridgeback, had just weaned a litter of her own. You could say they both had something the other wanted. Their shared owner, farmer Reg Bloom, introduced the pair in Brightlingsea, Essex, UK, and the rest is history. Though Mahogany is no longer nursing, she accompanies Rosie and the whole Bloom family on their evening walks, and the dog and the llama sleep together in the spare room off the kitchen.

John Drysdale. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

18. The Chihuahua and his baby marmoset

When the baby marmoset's fellow marmosets turned on him at a small zoo near Thetford, Norfolk, England, the zookeepers called in Sam, the Chihuahua. Sam was meant to tolerate the baby marmoset clinging to him and to take the munchkin out for some much needed sunlight and exercise. Though the marmoset only weighed a few ounces, it was quite a load for Sam, who weighed in at just a few pounds himself.

Alex Coppel/Newspix/Rex/Rex USA. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

19. The pig and his lamb

Edgar Alan Pig was lucky enough to be taken in by Pam Ahern in Victoria, Australia, who started a sanctuary for farm animals where they could live out their natural lives. Until Edgar passed away in 2010, he served as a welcome committee for hundreds of lambs, chickens, goats and other barnyard animals. He had a particularly special relationship with a little lamb named Arnie.

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20. The Great Dane and his fawn

When a deathly ill, days-old fawn came to Secret World Wildlife Rescue center in Somerset, England, things weren't looking good. "She was wet, cold and almost unconscious," the center's founder, Pauline Kidner, told Rogak. Once the fawn, now named Cindy, began to recover, Kidner started bringing her outside, where her son's Great Dane, Rocky, quickly nosed Kidner out of the way and took it upon himself to father the fawn.

Bournemouth News / Rex Features. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

21. The hen and her ducklings

When Hilda the hen started sitting on a nest of eggs in 2012, farmer Philip Palmer was looking forward to a new bunch of chicks. Boy did he get a surprise! Turns out Hilda was sitting on a bunch of Indian Runner ducks the whole time. Who knew? Not Palmer, and not the ducklings, who thanks to avian imprinting regarded the hen as their true mother from Day No. 1. Hilda for her part doesn't seem to know that her adopted children are ducks, either.

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22. The golden retriever and her bunnies

Koa, the golden retriever, found a nest of wild bunnies near where she lived in San Francisco. Koa's owners wound up taking the bunnies in after getting them checked out at the vet and Koa behaved as a mother to them. The bunnies "hop all over her and always find their way to the crook of her leg and find warmth and shelter," the animals' owner told Rogak.

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23. The border collie and his Vietnamese pot-bellied piglets

Mac, a border collie, took to a group of four piglets as soon as they arrived at Blue Cross, one of the largest animal welfare nonprofits in the UK. Mac started licking and cuddling with the piglets, which started jumping all over Mac in return for the favor.

Reuters/Ali Jarekji. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

24. The cat and her baby chicks

Nimra, a one-year-old mother cat, was tending to her litter of four kittens in Madaba, Jordan, when she adopted a flock of seven baby chicks that were suddenly orphaned in 2007. Nimra cared for everyone, kitten and chick alike, in the same cardboard box.

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25. The rabbit and her kittens

Melanie Humble agreed to foster a litter of abandoned, 5-week-old kittens in Aberdeen, Scotland. She thought her cat, Ellie, would chip in, but it turns out her rabbit Summer did instead. Summer and the kittens hit it off from the first moment they laid eyes on each other. She just sits there and lets them climb all over her, Humble told Rogak.

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26. The cat and her Rottweiler puppies

Sky, a tortoiseshell cat, gave birth to four kittens and was nursing them beautifully when her owner introduced her to four Rottweiler puppies. The puppies had been rejected by their mother and were in pretty bad shape, but they took to Sky quickly, first nuzzling and then nursing. Soon, they were one big, happy family.

Richard Austin/Rex USA. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

27. The dog and her lambs

A springer spaniel named Jess helps out with the feeding on a 180-acre sheep farm in Devon, UK. Her owner, Louise Moorhouse, says she doesn't know what she would do without her spaniel helper. “It’s like having an extra pair of hands,” she said. “I taught her to hold the milk bottle in her mouth and she did the rest.”

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28. The cat and her squirrel

A family in West Sussex, UK, took in an abandoned squirrel, but the squirrel wouldn't drink from a bottle. So, the owners decided to slip her in between the kittens that had just been born to their two cats, Sugar and Spice. Each cat had had a litter, and there were a total of 10 kittens. So the squirrel, now called Chestnut, fit right in amid the chaos. Soon, she was suckling away and only left the group to forage for food.

Elaine Hu. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

29. The Airedale terrier and her guinea pigs

Sunshade, the Airedale terrier, really liked guinea pigs. Whenever her owner took her to the pet store, she would park herself in front of the guinea pigs and just watch — but not in a hunt-y way, in a "wanna make friends" way. One day, her owner decided to surprise her beloved Sunshade and bought her a pet guinea pig. Then another, which had babies, and so on. Sunshade takes care of all of them like they're her stepchildren.

Jeremy Durkin/Rex Feature. Promotional rights granted by Lisa Rogak.

30. The tamarin monkey and his twin baby marmosets

Tom, a golden lion tamarin monkey at the Colchester zoo in the UK, broke with tradition when he started caring for a pair of twin silvery marmosets. Monkeys usually don't show interest in other breeds, but the twins are lucky Tom was brave enough to try because marmosets are small and wouldn't have been able to carry both twins at once. Tom the tamarin had no problem toting the pair.

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