Evidence shows that dog domestication happened some 27,000 to 40,000 years ago when canines split from wolves. In other words, man's best friend has had a long time to perfect being just that -- the best companion we could ask for.
But it wasn't until recently -- just over 50 years ago -- that fox domestication became a thing. While the fluffy red creatures look like perfect cuddle bugs (and some totally are), they still have many wild characteristics. Jessika, owner of Juniper, loves her tame baby but wants to educate everyone on just how special these foxes really are.
Meet Juniper -- isn't she pretty?
Juniper's mom tells us that she's what's considered a "tame" fox.
"She comes from a line of foxes that have been bred for tameness," Jessika shared with ViralNova.
Apparently, back when the fur industry was at its peak, farmers "would breed their foxes for tameness." This way, it was easier for them to handle the feisty creatures.
Nowadays, though, the fur trade is frowned upon, leaving all those "tame" fox descendants out in the cold, so to speak.
Jessika says, "They were no longer fit to live in the wild and lost a lot of their instincts due to being handled and cared for over generations."
Juniper is one of those babies. Jessika got her when she was just five weeks old!
So what's it like owning a pet fox, you ask? Well, their days start out with breakfast.
Juniper loves Cheerios and Puppuccinos from Starbucks.
But the cute fox isn't Jessika's only pet...in fact, Juniper loves her big dog, Moose.
"Juniper adores him and acts like a little girl with a crush around him."
And while there are tons of smiles...
And tail wags (yes, they wag their tail!)...
These floofy buddies are definitely a handful.
"While Juniper and I are very close, and she seems very well behaved this isn't always the case," she noted.
"She's still a fox," she says. And foxes can be temperamental.
They can be cute and cuddly, but they're also "prone to biting and destructive behavior."
Jessika makes sure to note that "they require permits to own and are illegal in most places."
While she has the time, patience, and energy to devote to her unique buddy, "I don't want to promote them as pets, I don't want to see foxes end up in rescues or worse."
But, Jessika says, if you're willing to look past their drawbacks, "they're worth the love they give."
Honestly, none of those drawbacks seem to outweigh the benefits, but that's just because I'm obsessed with animals. If you want to follow along with all of the adorableness that is Juniper, check out her Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat (juniperfoxx)!