Sometimes the most memorable friendships in life are the ones you’d least expect. And that couldn’t be more true when it comes to Rio the dog and his unlikely pal, a wild river otter.
The two became acquainted back in 2007 when, over the course of a couple of weeks, the otter would emerge from the water nearby to investigate the equally curious puppy. Soon enough, a friendly relationship began to blossom.
“The two became trusting of each other and, eventually, the otter ventured into our yard under the fence and they would play and play,” YouTube user sasslang said. “Rio would wait on the hill in our backyard waiting and watching for the otter to swim down the waterway towards our house.”
That’s when the fun would begin.
For months, these little playdates were a regular occurrence, much to the delight of all who witnessed them.
“To be able to see the interaction of Rio and the otter was truly a gift,” Rio’s owner says. “To be able to see their trust growing over a period of time on opposite sides of the fence made me know that when the otter did come under the fence, they would play and not be aggressive with each other … pure joy!”
Like all good things, however, the happy interspecies festivities eventually ended, as one day the otter failed to come visit. And while it’s been nearly a decade since then, time has done little to diminish the dog’s sweet nature that allowed for such a friendship in the first place, says sasslang:
“Rio, being older, is slower, fatter, graying in his face … but still the gentle soul he has always been.”
Even in his older age, Rio continues to make new friends, this time, a raccoon.
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