When rural farmer Ashley Stewart and his wife Felicity found a baby male kangaroo on the side of the road in 2013, they had no idea that the little joey
would quickly become part of their family.
Two years on, the curious and friendly joey they have dubbed 'Dusty' is now so comfortable living with the couple and their dogs Lilly and Rosie on their farm, near Esperance in Western Australia, that the Stewart's are convinced he actually thinks he is a dog too.
Dusty rides around the property
in the back of Mr Stewart's truck along with the dogs, sleeps with them on a dog bed, eats with them, asks for scratches
His unique behaviour began when Mr Stewart decided to drive down to a dam on the couple's property in Wittenoom Hills, 60 kilometres from Esperance, and loaded Lilly, a golden retriever, and Rosie, a border collie, into the truck bed.
'I loaded the dogs in and he was hanging around and looking up at the truck and so I just picked him up and put him in the back with them,' Mr Stewart told Daily Mail Australia.
'I didn't think too much of it, we drove down and came back together,' he said.
'He's been fine sitting on the back, as I don't drive too fast because I'd be worried about him jumping off. He doesn't jump in, I lift him in and out.'
While the adventure down to the dam has only happened a few times, Dusty, who the couple often call 'Skip', has also picked up some very canine
'He just likes to hang out with the dogs, probably because he thinks he's a dog. He eats and sleeps with them, and will wander
down to the shed with them and lay around if I'm working there,' Mr Stewart said.
Dusty also has a collar
, like many dogs, as a protective measure to ensure he can be found at nighttime.
'When he was little we used to let him out during the day and he'd go off grazing and wouldn't come back at night, so we'd have to go looking for him,' Mr Stewart said.
'We just couldn't find him as kangaroos don't make any noise and are very still,' he said.
'Once we found him he would always come back with us, so we decided to wrap some reflective
tape around a collar so when we shone a torch at night we could see him'.
'In a rural area like this there are always kangaroos around who unfortunately get hit on the road and for various reasons orphaned
joeys are found, and so we weren't sure when we took him home what would happen,' he said.
But by the time the couple had started to feed him, and weened him off milk, he was part of the clan.
Now, instead of milk, Dusty eats a mixture of grains, and guinea pig/rabbit food, his favourite treats are an apple or bread.