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Reprinted from Best Friends (March/April 2005)


Dolphins have the reputation of being the "angels of the sea" for the countless tales of rescuing humans in distress. But the smart cetaceans also have a heart of gold when it comes to man's best friend.
When a sudden wave smashed Heidi the dog into the mouth of a river as she was standing on a spit with her person, the dog surely looked like a goner. Her person was distraught as he saw the strong current sweep the dog into the sea, where several waves flipped her over and over. Then he was terrified to see a fin emerge from the water. Sure that a shark was about to make a meal of his pup, the man was even more surprised to see a dolphin emerge and begin swimming in front of Heidi, turning her toward the shore. For half an hour, the dolphin swam near the dog, rising out of the water a few times until the dog was dumped by a wave onto the beach.
Marine mammal experts say they don't recall another incident where a dolphin actually rescued a dog, but it doesn't surprise them at all. Dolphins have been known to take a great liking to canines they see on land and often try to invite them to come out to play.