EXCLUSIVE: Dog and tortoise are best friends – and love cuddling up with each other

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A dog and tortoise have struck up an unlikely friendship – and love spending time in each other’s company.

Puka, a dog, and Larry, a tortoise, have formed an adorable relationship after being adopted by their owner Christine Hilberg.

Christine adopted Larry from a man who could no longer care for him when he was just nine-months-old and welcomed Puka into her home two years later.

She told The Mirror: “Puka and Larry created a bond right away. They really enjoyed snuggling in bed, sharing veggie snacks, and sunbathing together.

“It was pretty incredible to see two different species become best friends so quickly. Their friendship was effortless, kismet.”

Although 11-year-old Puka is about 10 times her best friend’s size, it’s Larry who rules the roost, with his owner saying everyone very much lives in “Larry’s world”.

Christine, who is originally from Southern California but is currently living in Los Angeles, said: “Puka and Larry just really enjoy being around each other.

“They follow each other around the house, share food, play dress-up for photos, cool off in the kiddie pool, sunbathe, and snuggle.

“My favourite moments are when I go to check on them and see them sitting next to each other, just enjoying each other’s company.

“It’s heartwarming to see two very different animals with very different personalities get along so well.

“Puka and Larry are mutually respectful of each other, but I’d say that this is Larry’s world and we just live in it.

“Larry isn’t always aware of his strength and size, especially when he comes in for a cuddle.”

When they’re not hanging out with each other, 13-year-old Larry is hard at work rearranging his owner’s furniture to better suit his style, while Puka is taking herself off on another adventure.

“Larry is very hard working. He will spend hours moving furniture from one side of the living room to the other,” said Christine.

“He is also independent, mulish, shy, and optimistic. If Larry thinks he can do it, then he’s definitely going to try.

“Puka is adventurous, fun, loyal, extroverted, athletic, smart, and intuitive.

“If I say ‘Puka, where is Larry?’ she will point him out to me no matter where he is hiding. It’s adorable and impressive.

“She also loves posing for pictures with Larry and taking naps next to him.”

However Puka and Larry are not the only mix-species duo to have struck up a friendship, with Gina, a golden retriever, and Hamlet, a micro pig, striking up an adorable bond.

The dog and pig have become each other’s partner in crime, as they spend their days tormenting their owner Arianna Tsolakoglou before cuddling up on the sofa as if nothing happened.

Arianna, who lives between California and Athens, said: “What I find amusing is that they have evolved into being like siblings but also partners in crime and will often collaborate to achieve a common goal – and that has to do with food most of the time.

“It is very interesting that they each pitch in with their own capacity to be able to reach food that is not accessible.

“It seems to me that Hamlet uses his intelligence and problem-solving skills and Gina uses her physical capacity, as she is a bigger creature, to get to things that they are not supposed to.”