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Saturday, April 13, 2019

Doing Dog Paddle In The Open Water

Photo courtesy of Seth Casteel, Nashville, Tennessee.

If you are a dog lover and you love the open water, these dogs have the potential for being your next best friend:

* The Newfoundland breed was originally a popular working dog where they were asked to tow lines from ship to land in choppy seas and rescue swimmers. There was a time when Newfoundland dogs were required at lifeguard stations along the British coast.

* The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a great water retriever that can swim and dive into very cold water with their nearly waterproof dense undercoat and a rough, wind-resistant outer coat.

* English Setter, originally bred as a bird dog to retrieve game in English moors, is at home in the water.

* Irish Water Spaniel was originally bred as a sporting dog and water retriever with a double coat that helps resist harsh outdoor conditions.

* Irish Setter, a combination of the English Setter, the Pointer, the Irish Terrier and the Irish Water Spaniel, loves the water.

* Portuguese Water Dog was used to herd fish into nets, retrieve lost fishing equipment, and act as a boat-to-boat or boat-to-shore courier.

* Labrador Retriever is a great swimmer with genes of the Newfoundland and Labrador from the Atlantic coastal province in Canada near the Labrador Sea.

* Golden Retriever was originally bred as a hunting companion for retrieving waterfowl.

* Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was originally bred in the southern region of Nova Scotia to lure and retrieve waterfowl.

Seth Casteel is an award-winning photographer and a New York Times best-selling author of Underwater Dogs, Underwater Puppies, Underwater Babies, Pounce, It's a Puppy's Life, and nine books.

In 2012, his series of photos showcasing dogs diving into swimming pools reached over 100 million people in less than 24 hours. With over half a million copies in print around the world, Underwater Dogs is one of the best selling photography books of all-time.

Open water swimmers around the world have enjoyed swimming with their canine friends including Lucky Meisenheimer in his backyard Lake Cane in Orlando, Florida. Digger is a swimming dog (canine swimmer) that has completed over 1,000th 1 km crossings of Lucky's Lake since 2011.

Other well-known aquatic luminaries in the canine world include:

* Jake, La Jolla, California
* Guri Bosch, Vermont
* Robbie
* Barney, Sarasota, Florida
* Massi, Ostia Beach, Rome
* Rambo, Ostia Beach, Rome
* Romeo, Ostia Beach, Rome
* Udaine, South Africa
* Butch, South Africa
* Manaia, Honolulu, Hawaii

Photo of canine escort crew member is courtesy of Phil White at the Island Pond Swim in Vermont, a 3-mile race in Lake Memphremagog from Brighton State Park Beach around The Island in Vermont.

Dogs just don't swim or serve as observers in open water swims across lakes and in oceans. There are also surfing canines (surfurs) that compete in the Petco Surf City Surf Dog® Competition in Huntington Beach, California.

Phil White of the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association knows well the swimming ability of Guri Bosch, a 6-year-old labrador retriever, that has completed multiple 5-mile Lake Willoughby Swims.

Guri from Wallingford, Vermont had first participated in 2013, becoming the first canine to swim the length of the lake. Kayaking for Guri this year was her coach and trainer Bethany Bosch who has swum the length of Lake Memphremagog, crossed the English Channel, and swum in the Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival.

White explains about the canine division in his open water events. "Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association swims are open to canines. We have found an increasing number of open water swimmers who train with their dogs. We want to get the word out that our swims are open to the qualified, open water canine community."

Courtesy of Petflair.

Three pet lovers from Sydney, Australia created a Kickstarter campaign for Petflair, a company that makes customized swimwear, towels, stickers and bags that give tribute to pets.

Petflair was created to support Pound Paws, the charity dedicated to reducing the number of pets on death row in animal shelters.

Britt is the founder of Pound Paws which connects owners with pets on death row in pounds. She wanted to find a way to not only raise funds for the charity, but showoff companionship and love which owners have with their pets. Tyler is an Olympic water polo player for Australia who had a custom swimwear business. When he was asked to print a dog on a swimsuit in 2016, he knew it was special idea. Charlie is a dog-mad computer programmer and designer who made the custom ordering system that made Petflair possible.

For more information about Petflair's custom swimwear featuring your pet, visit here.

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