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Dog and dolphin forge an unusual friendship in Ireland

February 9, 2011 | 11:02 pm

How's this for evidence that we really can all get along? A Labrador retriever named Ben and a dolphin named Duggie inexplicably became the best of friends a few years back, despite the fact that one lives on land and the other lives in the ocean.

Dublin's Independent newspaper reported that locals on Tory Island, off the coast of County Donegal in Ireland, first spotted Duggie the dolphin in the spring of 2006. The dolphin became popular with locals and tourists alike; Duggie was a frequent sight from the decks of incoming ferry boats.

Soon, Ben the Lab started swimming out to meet the dolphin, and the unusual pair would play for hours. Other local dogs even joined in.

Duggie, whom locals named in honor of island celebrity Willie Duggan, hung around Tory Island -- sometimes taking breaks to swim with a traveling pod of dolphins -- for a few years before sightings stopped. We like to think Duggie eventually joined a pod for good. Fortunately, the delightful dog-dolphin friendship was captured on video for posterity.

See more videos of Ben and Duggie after the jump!

"This a regular occurrence as they greet the tourists and locals arriving on the Tormór ferry from Magheroarty," says YouTube user Dulamankelly, who shot the video above in 2008. "Duggie seems particularly fond of getting a massage on the boat's water jets at the rear of the vessel.

YouTube user danny7176's video shows both Ben and a human diver swimming with Duggie.

Ben can be seen swimming out into the harbor to meet Duggie in this video by YouTube user Killianmcl.

YouTube user arabejaysus captured the video above in 2007. It leaves a little to be desired, sharpness-wise, but offers a unique angle on one of Ben and Duggie's play sessions.

-- Lindsay Barnett

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