Dolphin Tales: Dogs and dolphins
Marie Blanton is a senior trainer at the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, Florida. It is a seaside sanctuary in the Florida Keys, established in 1984 as a nonprofit corporation, and composed of a 90,000-square-foot series of saltwater lagoons. It is home to several dolphins as well as California sea lions.
Trainers work to build relationships with dolphins and to get to know them as individuals. As such, Marie wanted to expose them to as many different things as possible — including her then new, 8-week-old golden retriever, Gunner, who would accompany her to work every day. Marie noticed that every time she would bring Gunner to the center, Delta was the first dolphin over to the dock. Delta, then 4, would come to say hello and bring Gunner toys, wanting Gunner to play with him.
The bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions living at the center provide a range of personalities and backgrounds. Over half of the residents were born at the Center, while the other members have come from additional facilities or were rescued, rehabilitated and deemed not releasable back into the wild. Unfortunately, this sometimes happens.
Eight years later, Delta and Gunner still share that bond of friendship.
There’s something so pure and beautiful about inter-species friendships, and this one about a land animal and his water buddy is one of them.
For additional information contact Dolphins.org
Capt. Cathy Eagle has spent over 40 years boating in our local waters. As a professional charter captain she specializes in dolphin and nature tours. Visit CaptainCathy.com or call 239 994-2572.