This adorable golden retriever is a trained lifeguard – and he can tackle any type of ‘ruff’ seas.
Four-year-old Baloo has been specially trained to observe the beach, helping swimmers to stay safe and carry out rescues in emergencies, just like a human lifeguard.
His owner and trainer, Simone Filesi, 33, from Rome, decided to start teaching Baloo the ways of the water as a puppy due to his passion for the sea.
Baloo is now a fully qualified rescue dog, and enjoys volunteering as part of the Associazione Cani Salvataggio, where dogs and lifeguards patrol beaches across Lazio and Sicily.
He is an integral part of a pack of lifeguard pups who patrol the beach and, despite donning cute life jackets, their power cannot be underestimated – because just one dog can tow up to three people or even a dinghy with one person on it.
Baloo the Golden Retriever, four, has been specially trained to observe beaches in Italy, helping swimmers to stay safe and carry out rescues in emergencies, just like a human lifeguard
Dogs are equipped with life jackets, which act as a harness for people to grab onto, before swimming back to safety
His owner Simone described Golden Retriever Baloo as an ‘extremely playful and obedient character’
Simone, who is a teacher and volunteer lifeguard, said: ‘I would trust Baloo with my life.
‘The presence of the dog unit on the beach is very important especially for children and teenagers.
‘For example, if I warn a young person that the sea is rough and Baloo is with me, it totally changes the reception of that warning of how dangerous the sea can be.
‘Baloo is an extremely playful and obedient character. He is very sociable and patient with children – especially with my daughter who teases him a lot!
Baloo spent one year in lifeguard training, completing exciting exercises on both land and sea
Proud owner Simone Filesi, 33, from Rome, who is a teacher and volunteer lifeguard, said: ‘I would trust Baloo with my life’
Baloo has been training in water since he was a puppy, because his owner is a lifeguard
‘I knew there was something special about him when I got him as a puppy, and as we began training him, I knew he would love to engage in an activity and so I chose to train him as a lifeguard dog.
‘The bond that has been created between us and the warmth that we receive from people on the beach repays all the sacrifices that we make.
‘He follows me and is able to understand emergency situations, sometimes even before me.
‘On a day with rough seas, he won’t enter alone, but is willing to put his life in danger at the cost of following me and intervening. He trusts me and I trust him.’
Faithful friend: Simone said that loyal Baloo is always willing to put his life at risk to follow his onwer into the sea
Baloo the Golden Retriever with his owner Simone Filesi, 33. The lifeguard started training Baloo as a puppy because of his passion for the sea
Drying off after a ruff day at sea! Being a lifeguard is hard work for Baloo, his owners said, but insists it’s a ‘very rewarding’ job
Simone’s lifeguarding work with Baloo is done on a voluntary basis, whenever he has free time
Baloo spent one year in lifeguard training, completing exciting exercises on both land and sea, which on completion the dog is rewarded with a prize of a treat or a toy.
The dogs are equipped with life jackets, which act as a harness for people to grab onto, before swimming back to safety.
Simone said: ‘Our dogs on the beach have a totally different attitude to what they do on the ground.
Baloo (left) is an integral part of a pack of lifeguard pups who patrol the beaches in Latzio and Sicily and, despite donning cute life jackets, their power cannot be underestimated – because just one dog can tow up to three people or even a dinghy with one person on it
Furry clever boy! His owner said that Golden Retrievers like Baloo make ‘excellent observers’ while on the beach
Making a splash: Baloo, pictured in the sea with his owner, helps the lifeguard intervene to resuce swimmers in dangerous situations
Baloo the Golden Retriever with his owner Simone Filesi, 33, who said he’s ‘very proud’ to have such a ‘caring’ pet. ‘Training Baloo is very important to me, in everyday life, and he is always present wherever I go,’ he said
Baloo in training in the pool: He has leared how to observe and help swimmers stay safe, both on the beach and at indoor pools
Baloo in action: The Golden Retriever has been trained to rescue swimmers who have got into difficulty and is always willing to dash into the sea
‘While on the ground, they are more playful and distracted, but on the beach they are excellent observers.
‘When we intervene with our dogs in a dangerous situation, we are the first to reach the person in difficulty, but then the dog helps us to bring the person back to the beach by making them grab onto the handles on their harness.
‘It’s very hard work but very rewarding for Baloo. He really enjoys it.’
Simone added: ‘Lifeguarding with Baloo is a volunteer activity, where I use my free time and take time away from my family to help others.
‘Training Baloo is very important to me, in everyday life, and he is always present wherever I go.
‘He is a very caring dog and I am proud of him.’