Say hello to my little friend

If you're small, it helps to have a big friend: someone to train you, protect you, keep you warm, be your mentor, and make you look cute. I'm not sure what the big friend gets out of the deal - but still, intersize friendships seem to be the rage in the pet world.

Say hello to Boston the Bulldog, and his little friend Kona.

Nitro and Poppy have a mutually beneficial relationship.

As do Jellybean the tortoiseshell and Inigo the young Golden Retriever.

Follow me, bro, I'll show you the ropes. Koa the Husky pup has big brother (obviously not from the same litter) Rocky to teach him the ways of the world, starting with sitting proud and scanning the horizon. So cool - imagine these guys in shades.

Another pup with training wheels is Gunner the German Shepherd. Gunner keeps an apprentice's eye on his grown mate Mack.

Ninja takes a class in Sitting Cute 101, with tutor Inle.

Here's Buck the splendid Dogue de Bordeaux, with his mini-me, Flossie the Neapolitan Mastiff pup. Gentle Buck crossed the Rainbow Bridge two years ago, suffering prostate cancer (yes, it afflicts dogs). RIP Buck.

Meet intersize buddies Jasper and Frankie.

"Are you my mummy?" "Clearly not." Owen and Beko get to know each other.

This beautiful American Staffordshire Terrier, named Opal, plays a key role for a Rangiora rescue group called Cat Care Incorporated, which her owner Nicky is involved with. Six-year-old Opal acts as foster mother to rescue kittens, cleaning them and feeding them as needed. Here she's paying maternal attention to Charlotte the kitten. Good work, Opal and Nicky. Meanwhile, puppy Wilson tries to get his big friend Sika to play.

Funny how pets often take up sentry duty in pairs. Here's Kitler and little Marmite.

Gypsy and little Ari watch the newly thrown bread scraps, knowing that soon the birds will arrive. Luckily the windows are kept shut.

Cyrus and Lola are both trying to catch that elusive laser light. Both cats were adopted on the same day in 2008, though Cyrus was 5 years old and Lola only 5 months. Owner Shirleen says Lola hounded Cyrus all day, wanting to play. "Cyrus, for the most part, put up with her until he had enough - which is when he used only ONE paw to pin her down to the ground for a few seconds. That usually stopped her shenanigans...for a little while. Sadly, Lola was hit by a car when she was nine months old and she died in my arms in the car as we rushed her to the emergency vet." RIP Lola.

Bailey the Golden Retriever puppy goes back to back with his big friend Loco. RIP Loco.

Who's big and who's little here? It's all a matter of will between Trouble the cat and Kita the Kelpie.

Ever seen an Irish Wolfhound in the flesh? It's quite a sight, loping along as high as a pony. This is Georgia, five years old and typically gentle with kittens Rosalie (left) and Emmett. Thanks for the photos, Michele.

Another big hound with a little friend is Sid the Greyhound, here checking out Hugo.

Lilly the English Pointer was a pushover for her cat friends. Here Momo snuggles up.

Watch and learn - but who's the teacher? Blu and Sam have precisely the same idea about how to relax.

Another of the biggest dog breeds you'll see is the Bernese Mountain Dog, of which Brina is a fine example. Her little mate is Whisky, whose breed I can't quite tell - Scottish Terrier?

Sophie and her mini-me Fern have fun at the park.

Uh oh, looks as though someone said or did something disagreeable, cooling relations between dog and cat. Great picture, Michael.

This is more the kind of bond we like to see between little and large: Phoody the affectionate Burmilla likes to cuddle up to and groom Stella the choc Lab, and in return receives full protection.

Finally, Griffin doesn't mind if you say hello to his little friend Purrcy, but you'd better treat the little guy right.

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