Unlikely playmates: Deer plays tag with rescue dog in video shot in Lakewood Ranch

This week’s cutest internet animal video might come from Lakewood Ranch, where a pet owner witnessed his dog make an unlikely playmate.

On Monday evening, Ethan Cole let his rescue dog Ike out in the backyard like usual.

The German shepherd spotted an unfamiliar visitor on the other side of the fence. As dogs do, Ike ran right up to investigate.

The deer that was standing there bounced away, according to Cole, and the moment seemed to be over.

But then the deer reappeared from the trees and instigated a game of cross-species tag.

Video posted on Cole’s Facebook page on Monday shows Ike and the deer racing up and down the fence line like old friends.

“I watched them for awhile before I thought to start video taping,” Cole said. “It was really fun to watch. That deer could have taken off into the woods at any time. They were clearly enjoying each other.”

Cole shares responsibility of taking care of Ike with his mother Faith Peterson.

“My Ike is so friendly and made the news!” Peterson said in a Facebook post.

By Tuesday afternoon, the clip of Ike and his new friend was making the rounds on local and national sites with millions of followers.

Cole says that the doe is often hanging around with its fawn in tow, and they were back again on Tuesday morning.

“I hope the playtime happens again,” Cole said.