Different animal species playing together make for some of the most reliably viral videos, but this one thanks things to the next level: A seal and a dog were recently captured playing fetch together on a California beach. Read on to find out how it came about, and why the videographer says that wasn't their first encounter with the seal, which has become quite attached to him and his dog.
Seal Makes Clear It Wants to Play
Twitter user @christoq posted video surf photographer Dave Nelson took of a dog and a seal in unlikely competition. In the footage, Nelson is seen holding a ball as a clearly intrigued seal bobs up and down in the water just offshore. "Are you curious?" Nelson asks the seal before turning the camera to his chocolate lab, who is waiting eagerly. When Nelson releases the ball, the seal arcs through the waves in pursuit. At the last minute, the dog splashes in, grabs the ball and retrieves it.
Seal Has Been Following Dog and Owner
The video has been viewed more than 1.6 million times. Keep reading to see it.
"Almost every morning I take Moe (Mokuleia) to the beach. She loves it, I love it and it's been beautiful," Nelson said on the full video he posted to Facebook. "She has had a buddy lately who's been following her every move. Up and down the beach he swims and follows us. We call him Sammy!"
"It Was Obvious They Liked Each Other"
"Anyways Sammy finally introduced himself a couple days ago and swam all the way in," added Nelson. "Moe dropped her ball (she never ever does that) and she waded out a few feet. They ended up smelling each other and went nose to nose for a second, I was blown away. It was obvious they liked each other and Sammy even gave a couple soft barks saying hello."
He added: "They started playing and even played fetch together. To say it was beautiful would be an understatement."
"A Little Loving Bark"
The video was taken at 26th Street Beach in Santa Cruz, For the Win reports.
"Moe smelled him and he gave a little loving bark and that's why I pulled my phone out [to capture video footage], because they were totally playing," Nelson told For the Win, adding that the pair continued to play fetch for much of their walk. "Moe is the local pup down there and the [sea lion] definitely felt the good vibes she puts off," Nelson said.
Social Media Reacts
"Most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time," said one Facebook commenter.
"That seal, like the dog, wanted to fetch the ball… that seal wants activity and interaction… makes me wonder if it already has had human contact before," said another.
"Land puppy meet sea puppy," said a Twitter user.