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Longboat Key golden retriever befriends a manatee

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Mochi the golden retriever loves relaxing on the waters of Longboat Key, floating on his pool noodle and playing with fish. But recently, Mochi made friends with a gentle giant. 

One afternoon, Toni and Dan Pavlovich parked their boat to do some fishing. Mochi also enjoys fishing. He likes to hold fish in his mouth for a bit, with a soft bite, before releasing them. 

Mochi was hanging around on the boat platform, said Toni Pavlovich, when suddenly a manatee floated up to Mochi. For 10 minutes, the golden retriever and manatee “booped noses.” The manatee would come to the surface, and Mochi would touch his nose to the manatee’s snout. Then, the manatee swam away. 

About an hour later, though, Pavlovich said the manatee returned to play with Mochi. The two hung around at the back end of the boat, touching noses and blowing bubbles.

Mochi the golden retriever likes to lounge around in the water, floating here on his pool noodle.
Courtesy photo

“It was amazing to see this gorgeous sea cow making friends with our salty sea dog,” Pavlovich said.



Carter Weinhofer

Carter Weinhofer is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, he moved to St. Petersburg to attend Eckerd College until graduating in 2023. During his entire undergraduate career, he worked at the student newspaper, The Current, holding positions from science reporter to editor-in-chief.

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