On a remote Irish island northwest of the Wild Atlantic Way, just nine miles off the coast of County Donegal, a community of artists lives in the small town of Middleton. Tory Island is steeped in history, mythology and folklore, and sometimes it’s hard to tell what is just a tale and what is true. This community of Gaelic-speaking people has an elected king, who rules a kingdom of just 130 people. That’s hard enough to swallow!
King Patsy Dan Rodgers welcomes visitors to the island as they disembark from the ferries that carry the people over the water to visit the enchanted isle. The story we want to tell you today is one that might be a little difficult to believe, but the video we’re sharing is proof positive that it is, indeed, not folklore made up to draw more tourists to the island.
There’s a yellow Labrador retriever that lives at the local hotel and that has an interesting daily routine unlike any you’ve probably seen before. Most every day, he travels the short distance from the hotel to the harbor, where he climbs down the concrete steps past the moored boats and jumps into the water.
Now, it’s not too unusual for a Lab to go swimming; they were, after all, bred to do just that. But it’s the reason behind his daily swim that draws our attention. He’s swimming out to visit a good friend of his.
His aquatic friend is Dougie, the town’s very own bottle-nose porpoise—also called a dolphin. Dougie waits patiently in the harbor for the dog’s characteristic plunge into the sea. When the pup has swum far enough out, Dougie raises his head and greets his friend and the frolicking begins.
Of course, tourists do love to see this pair together, but no one taught them their routine. That’s something they came up with by themselves. And no one loves to watch the two animals cavort more than the local populace, who consider both the dog and the dolphin part of the town “family.”
After a good splash and a short game of catch-as-catch-can, Dougie follows a boat out to sea, and the dog returns to land. Shaking himself dry, he returns to the hotel. But tomorrow, he will again swim out to meet his buddy and they’ll spend some time just enjoying each other’s companionship.
After you’ve watched this video, you’ll be tempted to book a tour of Ireland’s emerald islands. Be sure to share this feel-good story with your friends. Maybe they’d like to go with you to the magic isle of Tory, where animals communicate with each other, even in the sea!