Meet the pet whippet who is best friends with a MAGPIE

Meet the pet whippet who is best friends with a MAGPIE… and they even go on walks and watch TV together

  • Steve Rostron found injured magpie, Mike, on a walk in Sabden, Lancashire 
  • After taking Mike the magpie home he nursed him back to health with dog Boo 
  • Since his recovery he and Boo have now become firm friends and live together 

Mike and Boo do everything together, from going on walks to sharing food and even a bed.

Not so unusual, you might think. Until you learn that Mike is a magpie and Boo is a whippet.

The unlikely bond between bird and dog blossomed four months ago after a distressed Mike was found floundering on his own at about two weeks old.

Boo’s owner Steve Rostron was out on an evening walk in Sabden, Lancashire, when the inquisitive dog sniffed out Mike behind a telephone junction box.

Boo the whippet and Mike the magpie playing with one another while out on a walk in the Lancashire countryside

Despite being an odd pairing the two animals have become inseparable since they first met

Mr Rostron, 44, an artist, believed Mike may have fallen out of his nest from a tree above. Worried that he might not survive, he and five-year-old Boo took the bird home and, along with Mr Rostron’s partner Janine MacLean, nursed Mike back to health.

However, when it came to letting Mike back into the wild, he refused to go – preferring to stay with Boo instead.

Mike the magpie has become totally house-trained

Mike and Boo’s friendship has gone from strength to strength, with the pair enjoying nestling up on the sofa to watch television together.

During daily walks for Boo, Mike often joins in, flying ahead and waiting for Boo to catch up. The friendly bird even refuses to sleep in his cage and prefers to sleep in Boo’s basket.

Miss MacLean, 49, said: ‘It’s a bizarre but wonderful friendship.

‘When Steve brought Mike home I didn’t think he’d make it through the night, he was so tiny. He was really struggling. He must have fallen out of a tree as he couldn’t have been older than two weeks, he had virtually no feathers.

‘We fed him with a syringe for weeks and weeks until he started to regain strength and bond with us and Boo, once he realised that Boo was a big friendly giant.’ It wasn’t long before the pair became firm friends and now Mike is a permanent member of the family.

Miss MacLean, a teacher, said: ‘It was heart-breaking but also amazing when he had regained enough strength to go back into the wild.

Boo and Mike going on a walk together with the magpie having taken to riding the dog’s back


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Janine Maclean said they fed Mike with a syringe for weeks and weeks until he started to regain strength

‘Me, Steve and especially Boo had formed such a weird but wonderful bond with him but we knew he had the right to be free as he was a wild bird. However, he refused to leave and now even when he does go for a fly wherever he wants, he always returns to the house.’

The wild magpie has proved himself to be quite the showman, capturing the hearts of locals when he goes out for his solo travels by stealing sips out of their pints and flying into shops.

Miss MacLean said: ‘He is such a social little man, he is drawn to anywhere with a crowd. He goes to the park on Boo’s back to see the kids. Everyone in the village knows and adores him.

‘We have bought him a cage but he tends to prefer to sleep with Boo and through the day he is always free to go out and do what he wants.

‘He is a little superstar and his relationship with Boo is just magical. I couldn’t imagine our lives without him.’

Steve Rostron and Janine MacLean have grown accustomed to having Mike around the home

Boo and Mike are said to be such firm friends that they even watch TV in each other’s company

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