Friday, September 09, 2005

Scuba diving horses & dogs & cats

Our prize-winning filly Abby amazed me this week when she stuck her whole head into the water bucket and opened her eyes underwater!

Abby is a daughter of Vaaldance, sired by the legendary Arabian Park horse IXL Noble Express and she loves to stick her head ubnderwater.

Abby - The underwater Arabian horse!

But it got me to wondering, do animals scuba dive?

Horses love to swim and the old diving horses from Carnival shows were a staple in the late 1800’s and even more recently at some parks. It’s a testament to the extreme ability of horses to learn and overcome their fear, but this practice is considered both dangerous and cruel:

“Imagine you are a horse, and, after unbelievably difficult training, you have to spend your life diving 60 feet into 10 feet of water - four times a day, seven days a week (pictured on cover).

Then imagine that, when the job folded, you’re sent to an auction and sold to anyone who could get something more out of you before eventual slaughter.”

Personally, Abby’s dunking behavior makes me wonder if it is possible to train a horse to scuba dive, and Twinkie helped by modeled a scuba outfit prototype. We had great fun posing her, and Twinkie is a real sweetheart.

Scuba diiving has already been done with dogs and it appears that water-oriented dog breeds might actually enjoy scuba diving, like this amazing photo:

The web site Cha-Cha-Cha also has an amazing photo of a scuba diving dog! I love the doggie fins! Anf this scuba diving cat:

This web page shows “Shadow” the diving dog, but it's not clear if Shadow is enjoying the experience:

The Pets helping kids web site has a outstanding design for a doggie scuba set:

The site shows a dry suit, made just for dogs:

I just love this picture, and being a cat owner, I'm sure that a lot of trouble went into getting this superb photo. Jason Cross notes that cat dive too, most likely for fish, no doubt: