From a Pinellas County pier, Karin McArdle watched in fear as her crazy chocolate Labrador chased a shark off Crystal Beach!
Most dogs would swim away, but not Tootsie! Not surprisingly, the brave chocolate Labrador’s owners also affectionately call her “‘Loca Cocoa,’ crazy chocolate.”
McArdle told BAYNEWS9 that her Labrador spends her days in the water off Crystal Beach, looking for fish and dolphins to chase. The beachgoers know the Lab by name and she keeps them entertained.
“Tootsie is a staple on the beach,” said McDardle,”She’s very inquisitive. She sees the dolphin swimming out there, she likes to swim toward them but they’re too far out.”
Last week Tootsie’s curiosity could have led to trouble.
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“She was swimming underneath the pier looking for her fishies. And some people said, ‘oh look there are a couple of shark out there,’” said McArdle.
When the Labrador spotted the fin she went right for it.
“Everybody on the pier started screaming, ‘Tootsie, Tootsie, no!”
McArdle was terrified for her dog.
“She just showed no fear, and was not listening, and she’s normally very obedient,” she said, “I thought, ‘oh my God my dog’s going to be gone, going to be fish fodder, shark bait!”
It turns out Tootsie just wanted a closer look.
“She went up to the tail of that shark, sniffed it, said ‘ok,’ turned around and that shark just swam on.”
Tootsie was not harmed.
McArdle hopes Tootsie has now satisfied her curiosity with sharks.
“Stick with the fish,” said McArdle, “they’re good eating!”