People and Places
PENINSULA PETS Duck-dives and dress-ups By Liz Rogers

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Have you ever heard of a dog duck-diving for rocks? Or a cavoodle who loves to slip on a lifesaving suit to go to the beach? You’re about to.

Brooklands of Mornington events/business manager Cassandra Birt and her family absolutely adore Claude, their six-year-old personality-fuelled cavoodle. He’s a beach dog through and through, but he doesn’t like to show up underdressed. The family, which has connections with the Mount Martha Life Saving Club, bought him a lifesaving suit that he happily jumps into when he goes to the beach, and yes, that means in the water too.

Cassandra explains. “He’s the funniest thing really. He has a very strong retrieval instinct but is not particularly interested in sticks. He likes rocks, and big rocks too! We live near Birdrock Beach and take him for a run almost every day. There he is in the water duck-diving for these ‘boulders’ in his suit. When he finds one he likes, he has to bring it home. You can’t get it off him.”

The well-loved Claude may be cute but he has his naughty side too. Last Christmas saw him scavenge some chocolate while the family was out. Cassandra knew straight away when she came home that he had done something he shouldn’t have, because he had his tail between his legs and a sheepish look on his face. “He’s so easy to read. You know when something’s up. Unfortunately, the sheepish look wasn’t the only thing that was up – chocolate really isn’t very good for dogs.

“We call him our little archaeologist, our rock collector. There’s never a time he comes home without one of them in his mouth. My two girls Zara and Annabelle love him. There’s plenty of snuggling going on all the time and he gets to choose which bed he wants to sleep on even though he has his own. What can you do?”

Next time you’re down at Birdrock Beach, watch out for Claude in his lifesaving suit bobbing up and down in the water. He won’t be hard to find – duck-diving archaeologists never are.

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