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Black Lab Makes Incredible Swim Home
By Laura Barmore

On a recent summer afternoon, Peter Loizou and his two year old Labrador Retriever, Todd, were boating from there home on the southern coast of England to Cowes, a famous sailing port on the coast of the Isle of Wight . When the waters got choppy, Peter put Todd below deck. Later when Peter went down to check on Todd, he was not there. Todd, who had become a fixture on Peters 40 ft. boat since he was a puppy, was not wearing his normal orange life jacket and had been swept into the sea, unbeknownst to Peter.

Frantic, Peter contacted the harbor master and sent out a radio message asking other boaters to look out for his black Labrador Retriever. Peter searched the waters for four hours until dark, to no avail, finally giving up hope of ever seeing his canine companion again. But Peter had not reckoned on Todds doggedness.

Instead of swimming for shore, just a mile away to the Isle of Wight -Todds homing instinct took him on a much longer but more direct route for his house. For six hours, swimming roughly 10 miles, Todd fought the choppy waters. Todd had to swim against the current, in between ferries, tankers, ocean liners and yachts, across one of the worlds busiest waterways, the Solent. Once across the Solent, Todd altered his course and swam up the tidal stretch of the River Beaulieu to make land just six miles from his home. This incredible Labrador had swum a direct course for his home in Winsor.

There he was found by a 16 year old boy and his grandfather, who were walking home at midnight. They called out and Todd hauled himself ashore and collapsed in front of them. The boy and his grandfather took him to a vet who noticed the microchip and notified the police. Ten hours after he had fallen overboard, Todd was reunited with Peter, who was beside himself with amazement.

Peter Loizou said it was an absolute miracle that he survived. Its incredible that he managed to avoid the busy boat traffic in the area, but he is a very fit dog. I do a lot of charity runs and half marathons with Todd and he is a working gun dog. Obviously because of his fitness he survived but the vet who examined him said she was amazed he had swum so far. Mr. Loizou said he would now make sure Todd always has his life jacket on, and urged other boat owners with pets to do the same.

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Can You Spot The Holiday Hazards?

It’s easy for pets, especially Labradors, to get into trouble during the holidays. You may get so busy that you lose track of what is going on with your dog.

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