When Andra Novakowsky takes her pets for a walk through the streets of Thorsby, there’s always plenty of rubbernecking.
Her 130-pound Rottweiler, Bruce, never goes for a stroll without his best friend: a tiny duck named Cashew, who waddles along beside him.
The big black beast and the fluffy brown bird are the ultimate odd couple.
“It’s comical for sure when you see them,” Novakowsky said. “Whenever he’s en route somewhere, she’s right behind.
“When they nap, they need to be close together. When they eat, they want to be together.”
The unlikely pair have become the talk of the town in Thorsby, around 40 kilometres west of Leduc. They can be found greeting customers inside Novakowsky’s pet store, Thorsby Pet Necessities, or on daily strolls together through the streets.
‘Madly in love’
Novakowsky has tried introducing her pet bird to other ducks for companionship, but Cashew only has eyes for Bruce.
“I think Bruce sees her as his little sister,” she said. “He kind of gets a little annoyed when she’s trying to groom him or eat his food, but when push comes to shove, he’s very protective of her.
“Cashew, on the other hand, I think is madly in love with Bruce.”
Novakowsky got Cashew as an unexpected birthday gift two years ago. She jokingly begged for a baby duckling, but figured her boyfriend Jason would shrug off the birthday wish.
“I had joked previously about wanting a goat and donkey and nothing had ever became of those requests so I wasn’t expecting much when I requested a duck,” she said.
“But sure enough, my birthday came and we were on our way to a nearby farm and she was the last little duckling. As soon as I saw her, I couldn’t leave without her.”
When she brought Cashew home, she was not much more than a white puff of feathers. Call ducks, as they’re known, are petite in stature and…