Meet the owners dog’s
Petra, Softmaple’s Rock the Boat, was born in the beautiful countryside of Croghan, NY on May 11, 2010. Petra is often mistaken for a doodle, poodle, or greyhound mix but is actually a Curly Coated Retriever. The Curly is rare in the US but is actually considered to be one of the earliest retriever breeds and is thought to have descended from the English Water Spaniel, the St. John’s Newfoundland, the retrieving setter and the Poodle. Petra joined me in 2010 shortly after the passing of my wonderful Golden Retriever, Seraya.
Petra is a silly dog with lots of energy. She is still a puppy at heart as evidenced by her desire to play with almost any dog, her incorrigible jumping, and ability to make me laugh even when she is holding a chewed up shoe in her mouth. She graduated first in her class for Basic Obedience and is now starting to learn to scent track and dock dive but first and foremost, she is my companion. We participate in these activities to give Petra an outlet for her mental and physical energy, meet new people and dogs, and just have fun.
The Curly Coated Retriever is bred to be waterfowl retrievers and are made for the water with a quick drying coat and webbed feet. Petra, however, took a little convincing. We initially tried swimming in a pool, a lake, and a pond, all without much success. Why would my water dog only wade? Well, after a little more time and exposure to water she finally tapped in to her inner water dog. For her mother’s sense of security, Petra wore a life jacket to the pool. After falling in after her toy about a dozen times she finally got the hang of things and started jumping in. With more encouragement and practice she started swimming the length of the pool and then left the life jacket behind for the next beginner swimmer. So don’t be discouraged if your dog doesn’t take to the water right away. With a little time, patience, practice, and encouragement from Petra and Finley they too can find their inner water dog.
Finley, Sebastien Biscay’s Black Pearl, is the first born Ontario Barbet, June 2008. The Barbet is a rare breed with only 1400 in the world, 300 in Canada, and 70 in the United States. It is the original water dog and dates back to corded stock from Africa. Such notable historical figures as Napoleon and Voltaire are said to have owned one.
Finley enjoys his water so much, he will never willingly come out. He is a great swimmer, will go underwater for his bumper and enjoys swimming along next to other dogs in the pool creating the appearance of Synchronized Swimming for the Dog. He is the first Barbet to compete in Dockdogs and the first Barbet to earn a title, National Junior Jumper. He is working on extending his paws and besting his 15 foot jump from last year. He is a member of the Ontario Dockdogs Team.
Finley has also been enrolled in Tracking and hopes to test for his AKC Tracking Dog Title. He enjoys putting his nose to the ground and scenting out articles and food. He enjoys chasing squirrels and is the Class Clown at his Doggy Daycare. He is a Leader, friendly but guarded when protecting his family. He has a very special relationship with his little sister, Sasha, a Smoke Calico Persian. He can often be seen with Sasha attached to his tail or back leg. He gave up long ago trying to shake her off.
Finley was the inspiration for Canine Splash. He understands French and hopes to one day start the new canine sport of doggy synchronized swimming. If your dog needs encouragement to take the plunge, Finley is your man! He personifies his breed’s great love of water and his daily antics can be viewed on the Blog he writes at www.whirlandtwirlpearl.blogspot.com. Vive Le Barbet!
Kolby, of Wine Country Wheatens in Erie, PA, is a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. He joined the Campagna Family in 2004 at 8 weeks old where he was originally known as Mr. E. He loves to run in big circles and has only met one dog so far who can outrun him.
While he is obsessed with water from a hose, he prefers to wade on shore in ponds, lakes, streams and wait for the swimmers to bring the toy to him. As they step out of the water, Kolby can always be found stealing the toy from them and running off with it. He enjoys making other dogs work for him. He loves to be with his humans and is incredibly tolerant of his younger brother who enjoys body bumping and ear licking him over and over again. Kolby has never once had a fight with his younger curly brother and prefers to steer clear of little sister Sasha, allowing her antics to be directed elsewhere.
The Wheaten Terrier was originally used for herding on farms in Ireland. Kolby continues that trait in the city of Buffalo as he enjoys herding small children and adults he doesn’t like. He enjoys being with his family and eating pasta and cheese. He would have preferred a farm full of sheep but he will gladly herd any dogs right into the pool if they are finding it challenging to go in on their own.