Effie the lamb thinks she’s a dog – and she is inseparable from her two best canine friends.
The two-month-old ‘sheepdog’ goes for walkies with unlikely companions German Shepherd Breagha and Labrador Meg – then naps with them afterwards.
The tiny lamb was taken in by Gemma MacLeod, 37, aged just two days old. The weakest of triplets, she had a bad leg which at first left her lame.
But now she’s happy as Larry playing with the dogs – and even tries to steal their food.
Ms MacLeod said: ‘She’s really sweet – she thinks she’s a dog. She wasn’t supposed to be a pet but she was one of triplets and the mother couldn’t look after them all.
‘Effie was the weaker one. We got her when she was two days old through a friend who knows the farmer. She’s been hand-reared by us.’
The lamb was small and lame – but her new family, including Breagha and Meg – took to her immediately.
Ms MacLeod, a poultry breeder from Cromdale, near Grantown on Spey, said: ‘The dogs didn’t even bat an eyelid, they just accepted her.
‘They play together and she goes everywhere with them. When they come in during the day, she sleeps with them. We’ve just treated her like she’s one of them. When they go out to the toilet, Effie goes out as well. We call her sheepdog.
‘If the dogs lie down outside, Effie goes and lies down on top of them. She knows where it’s best to go to keep warm. It’s not uncommon for the dogs to be sound asleep with the sheep lying on top of them.
‘We go on walks and Effie comes too. She eats the grass and tries to keep up although she’s not as fast as them. We’re used to it now – but it’s maybe a bit unusual for other people.’
Effie – named after the FA cup because she had big ears – loves to play in the garden with the dogs and Ms MacLeod’s children Jack, 13, Zara, 11, Ailish, 8, Cailean, 7 and Orran, 6.
‘They all take it in turns to feed her. They go out the garden and she runs about with them and the dogs and she’ll headbutt the dogs. They just take it.’
Effie – a Texel – used to sleep in the house with the dogs, but now she’s bigger she’s moved out to the cosy stables with four horses and 40 hens.