When a dog disappeared from his home for hours each day, no one could have anticipated what they would eventually discover. After the Labrador jumped into the water, however, he revealed a big secret, leaving onlookers who witnessed it in shock.
Ben the dog became somewhat of a local celebrity on Tory Island, off the Donegal coast in northwest Ireland, but he didn’t do it alone. While it’s no surprise that the yellow Labrador Retriever loved the water, what he was doing after jumping into the harbor in Middletown left people with their jaws dropped.
The harbor doesn’t just behold breathtaking scenery, it’s also the location of an unusual friendship. Of course, that friendship involves Ben the dog, if you haven’t already guessed. Although we usually think of dogs as man’s best friend, Ben’s buddy is of a different variety completely. And, Ben and his unlikely best friend have melted hearts around the world.
Ben, who has a huge personality and always loves a good adventure, was already capturing the attention of locals as he enjoyed hanging around the harbor. But, when he began to shoot down to the water every morning, where he seemingly disappeared for hours at a time, villagers became curious.
There was a good reason Ben was throwing himself into the waves and swimming in the cool water, and yes, it involved that special best friend. Ben’s best buddy couldn’t meet him on shore. Instead, his pal waited in the water because Ben the dog’s best friend just so happened to be a wild dolphin named Duggie, who made Tory Island her home.
Ben the dog and Duggie the dolphin are quite the sight to see as the two friends frolic in the water together. And, just like the sea where they meet, their unmistakable bond runs deep. So much so, Duggie hasn’t joined another dolphin pod, although she will visit with them for a while when they come by. However, she always chooses to return to her home in the harbor and her best friend Ben.
“Occasionally a school of dolphins will go by, and she will join them. When I see them, I think she will forget the island and go back to her wild ways but she never does,” said Pat Doohan, Ben’s owner and a local hotelier, adding that the pair could spend up to three hours at a time together, several times a day, frolicking and playing in the sea.
According to Rare Irish Stuff, when Duggie lost her dolphin mate, she stayed in the area where her partner died. There, she was often seen swimming around the fishing boats. Duggie soon met the seafaring Labrador, and it was love at first sight. The two have spent their days playing together ever since.
Since creating their magical bond, Duggie the dolphin and Ben the dog have received a lot of attention. Not only has a video of them on YouTube been viewed over 10 million times, the pair has also enjoyed entertaining arrivals at the pier on Tory Island. Greeting both locals and tourists arriving on the Tormór ferry from Magheroarty quickly became a regular occurrence, and people couldn’t help but record the unlikely duo.
Duggie seems particularly fond of getting a massage, courtesy of the boat’s water jets at the rear of the vessel, but she’s never too busy to look out for her best bud. When Ben the dog exhausts himself swimming, his dolphin friend lends a hand — or should we say a flipper — to get him back to shore, National Geographic reported.
It’s really no wonder that this unlikely friendship has garnered so much attention. It’s a reminder that, if a dog who lives on the land and a dolphin who lives in the water can become friends, we should all be able to put aside our own differences and live together peacefully. If these two can love one another, people should at least be able to get along, regardless of how different we may be.