A friendly dolphin struck up an unusual friendship with a dog that lasted for years. The friendship began when a young dolphin nicknamed “Duggie” by Tory Island residents was first sighted in the harbor of the picturesque and remote Irish island in April 2006. She became a regular fixture for several years, following the ferry boats in and out of the small bay. It’s speculated that the female dolphin lost her mate around the same time.
Apart from her interest in boats, Duggie befriended a golden Labrador Retriever named Ben. The lab belongs to the local hotelier Pat Doohan. The dog took a shine to Duggie too, going down to the pier and looking for his flippered friend. As soon as he would spot Duggie he jumped into the water for a friendly swim.
The pair swam together for up to three hours at a time, several times a day. Ben’s guardian said, “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. They seem to be having great sport,” he said.
They would also regularly greet the tourists and locals arriving on the Tormór ferry from Magheroarty. One person filmed the two entertaining recent arrivals at the pier.
Video of the pair’s unusual friendship continues to circulate online to this day and the dog and dolphin continues to touch hearts of everyone who reads their story.