Not all dogs can swim

Lucky save: Tom Harrison had to save his flailing dog Aussie from the family pool.
Lucky save: Tom Harrison had to save his flailing dog Aussie from the family pool. Bruce Thomas

CAN your dog paddle?

Tom Harrison thought his could.

Now, Mr Harrison is asking owners to think twice about it after a very close encounter between his dog and a swimming pool this week.

Aussie’s owner was at home with his wife when she raised the alarm that the three-year-old Kelpie cross had fallen into their swimming pool.

“He usually barks at the water splashing over the side but this time he slipped in,” Mr Harrison said.

“My wife yelled out to me but I didn’t think much of it because I thought all dogs could swim – or at least dog paddle.

“But he was just splashing and splashing and couldn’t get out and couldn’t get a grip on the side. My wife was yelling and panicking so I had to jump in the water with my clothes on to get him out.”

Although a little shaken, Aussie was fine and very grateful to be rescued.

“He was very thankful; he stayed by my side all afternoon. I think he remembered what had happened,” said Mr Harrison.

“I take the dogs to the beach but they never really go in the water. I was so surprised he couldn’t swim.

“I don’t know what would have happened if we weren’t at home.”

After his ordeal, Mr Harrison is keen to get the word out.

“I really want to get the message out there to people to watch their dogs around water because clearly, not all dogs can swim,” he said. “We have three other dogs and I’ll be putting them all in the pool to see if they can swim.”

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