Dogs are a man’s best friend, so the saying goes. It makes sense then, that children form close relationships with dogs as well.
Kids often have a furry, four-legged sidekick by them for fishing trips, baseball games, and all sorts of other adventures. Since most pets are not allowed at school, they choose to wait instead at the bus stop in anticipation of their best friend returning home. Nibbles does all this and more. But here’s the thing: Nibbles is a duck.
Nibbles was born in the summer of 2014. He actually hatched in Jonny’s hand and the 9-year-old was the first person he laid eyes on. This meant that the newborn Rouen duck immediately imprinted on his big brother. The rest, as they say, is history.
Jonny has a few social issues that make life a little more challenging for him, including ADHD, anxiety and OCD, Jonny’s mom Jamie Toschi writes on their Facebook page, “The Adventures of Jonny and Nibbles.” So, having that special connection, even with a duck, is incredibly important.
“Having Nibbles by his side has helped Jonny tremendously. Jonny is more outgoing, socializes better and daily tasks are not so constricting now. Although he stills likes some things done a certain way, he has learned to deal with changes in a better way.”
“Nibbles has helped soothe him in meltdowns and he has fewer of them now. Nibbles needs Jonny just as much. Because of the imprint Nibbles has on Jonny, Nibbles sees himself as a human, not as a duck. Nibbles prefers the company of humans. Jonny in particular.”
“He sees Jonny as his best friend, brother, partner and soul mate. Jonny holds the key to Nibbles survival. They’d be lost without each other.”
Typically, when a dog is waiting for his special person to come home, they prance around and pant and jump up and down with excitement. While Nibbles can’t do all that, he still gets excited and shows it as only a duck can: by wiggling his tail feathers around and quacking loudly.
In fact, Nibbles is so excited to see Jonny that he lacks the social grace to move over and make way for Jonny and his sister when Mom comes to pick them up; his place is right next to his boy, so she’ll just have to climb over him if she wants to get in.
In addition to the Facebook page, Jamie documents this sweet friendship on their YouTube channel, “Jonny and Nibbles.” You can’t watch these clips without at least considering running down to your local pet and feed store and getting a little duckling of your own!
Nibbles seems to think he’s a dog trapped in a duck’s body, the way he nuzzles up against Jonny at home. As far Jonny’s concerned, Nibbles is the best friend he’s ever had.
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This story originally appeared on InspireMore.