On Tory Island, situated off the northwest coast of Donegal in Ulster, Ireland, there lives a Labrador dog named Ben.
Ben is a celebrity dog on Tory Island due to his special friendship with an unlikely animal friend—a bottlenose dolphin named Duggie.
Ben loves to paddle out to the sea near the island’s pier to play with Duggie whenever she comes to visit.
Ben and Duggie can swim and play in the water for up to three hours together, and sometimes several times in a day.
Back in 2007, Ben’s owner, Pat Doohan, told Independent.ie, “They’ll be out there swimming around and the dolphin will come up behind Ben and get a fix on the direction he is going.
“Then she’ll pop up on the other side. It is just wonderful to watch.”
As Ben frolicked in the water, the playful Duggie blew bubbles to tease him. Whenever Ben was exhausted, Duggie gave her friend a push, helping him get back to the dock safely.
Such an awesome display of friendship!
Why does Duggie stay off the Donegal coast?
Doohan assumed Duggie had lost her mate in the area, as she appeared on the island in April 2006, around the same time the body of another dolphin washed up to the shore.
Every now and then, Duggie will get together with a pod of dolphins that swims by the island.
“When I see them I think she will forget the island and go back to her wild ways but she never does,” Doohan said.
The beautiful story of Ben and Duggie’s unlikely friendship was featured on National Geographic’s TV show “Unlikely Animal Friends” and the BBC documentary “Countryfile.”
“This is absolutely amazing,” presenter Adam Henson said in BBC’s “Countryfile.” “Swimming around in the water, I have never seen anything like it.”
We’re not sure whether the two friends still hang around at the harbor of Tory Island. But there’s one thing we know for certain; that is, their unusual friendship had delighted local residents and many people across the globe.
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