Dog and Dolphin Kiss in Heartwarming Photo of Unlikely Friendship

An adorable photo of a dog kissing a dolphin has gone viral again as social media users continue to be delighted by their unlikely friendship.

The heartwarming photo sees a Golden Retriever leaning over the water to give the dolphin a lick on its nose. It went viral this week after Twitter user Avayonce shared the photo and said: "Sorry to interrupt, important news"

At the time of writing, the photo has amassed more than 260,000 likes and has been shared more than 35,000 times.

sorry to interrupt, important news: pic.twitter.com/gEJo4iLzZx

— Avayonce🦋 (@avayonce) April 26, 2021

But wait—the story behind the image is even cuter than you could imagine.

The photo of the dog and the dolphin first went viral last summer when Twitter user @_woollyback shared the image on Twitter with the same caption as Avayonce used: "sorry to interrupt, important news"

This tweet was liked more than a million times and shared more than 220,000 times.

sorry to interrupt, important news: pic.twitter.com/TrMmSumVzj

— /// (@_woollyback) June 17, 2020

When the photo first went viral, it was reported that the dog, a Golden Retriever named Gunner, and the dolphin, named Delta, had actually been friends for years.

Gunner and Delta met at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys, a non-profit organization home to a family of dolphins and sea lions, where Gunner's owner works.

Gunner first met Delta when he was just eight weeks old and Delta was four years old. At the time that the photo went viral last year, Gunner was seven years old and Delta was 10 years old—and they're still friends.

Following the attention the photo received, the Dolphin Research Center shared two side-by-side photos of the dog and dolphin meeting for the first time, and again six years later.

The Dolphin Research Center said: "A week or so ago, many of you loved seeing Golden retriever Gunner reunite with his friend Delta on our live stream. We thought you'd enjoy also seeing what it was like the first time that they met. #ThrowbackThursday"

When Gunner and Delta's unlikely friendship first gained widespread attention in June 2020, Marie Blanton, Gunner's owner, told the Evening Standard: "I've been a trainer at DRC for almost 10 years so I would bring him with me to work when he was really little.

"I wanted to expose him to all types of people and other animals. From the very first moment he met the dolphins, he was calm around them and very curious.

"Delta, who was a playful four-year-old at the time was especially interested in him as well. Now that he is a little older, I tend to bring him in less, but still once every few months."

The Dolphin Research Center told Newsweek: "Gunner and Delta are doing great.

They see each other fairly regularly when Gunner's 'mom' Marie brings him into work for the day—she's one of our trainers here at Dolphin Research Center. Sometimes Gunner's 'sister' Wrigley also comes in to say hello and make friends with the dolphins."

Dog Dolphin
A terrier dog swims with dolphins on April 27, 2005, in the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat. An adorable photo of a dog kissing a dolphin has gone viral. David Silverman/Getty