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Fearless Labrador Swims After Shark Off Florida Beach

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In This Screen Capture From The Video, Tootsie Can Be Seen Swimming After The Shark Just Offshore.
In this screen capture from the video, Tootsie can be seen swimming after the shark just offshore.

A Florida dog owner watched in horror last week as her four-legged best friend swam fearlessly after a shark just off shore at Crystal Beach in Pinellas County. A bystander caught the entire event of cellphone video.

Tootsie, a Chocolate Lab, is a regular at the dog-friendly beach where she can be spotted most days, looking for fish and dolphins to swim after and entertaining beach-goers with her love of the water.

“Tootsie is a staple on the beach,” owner Karin McDardle explained to Bay News 9,”She’s very inquisitive.  She sees the dolphin swimming out there, she likes to swim toward them but they’re too far out.”

But last week, as Tootsie was hopping around under the pier looking for fish, she spotted a fin sticking up out of the water and immediately went after it.

“Everybody on the pier started screaming, ‘Tootsie, Tootsie, no!”

Mothers warned their children to look away.

Owner McDardle said she was terrified as she watched from the pier.

“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!.”

Tootsie continued swimming after the bull shark, ignoring the calls to come back. She swam right up to the shark’s tail, gave it a sniff, and turned back. The shark just continued swimming away.

Tootsie swam safely back to shore and into the arms of her relieved owner.

To view the frightening video, click here.

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