Meet Rhodey, the dog who swims with dolphins


Rhodey regular swims out with dolphins in the Dawesville Cut. Pictures: Jarvis Eyes
Rhodey regular swims out with dolphins in the Dawesville Cut. Pictures: Jarvis Eyes

LUCK put Community Newspaper Group deputy editor Lucy Jarvis in the right place at the right time to capture photos of playful swimmers during a Mandurah visit recently.

The popular reaction to Monday’s story about a dog swimming with dolphins in the Dawesville Cut has helped communitynews.com.au track down the dog’s owner.

Seen swimming out to a pod of dolphins feeding on mullet on August 26, the crossbreed dog has been identified as seven-year-old Wannanup local Rhodey.

His owner Noeline, who asked not to have her surname published, said he had been swimming with dolphins for about six years, almost daily.

She adopted Rhodey when he was a year old and said he was terrified of water back then.

“There was another dog on the street called Arnie – a big old black Labrador – that swam with dolphins,” she said.

“I thought ‘that’s lovely, I would like my dog to do that’; I encouraged him to go in there.

“He hadn’t seen water; he was terrified – I kept encouraging him and he got used to it.

“When I first let him start swimming with the dolphins, I would be worried sick that he wouldn’t come in or tire himself out and drown.

“A couple of times those dolphins herded him up and brought him back right to my feet.

“They certainly look after him; I think they knew that I was fretting about him.

“He certainly can stay out there for half an hour or more with them.

“I think they take the mickey out of him and they muck him around.”

While the dolphins take care of Rhodey, Noeline said he had had a couple of less friendly encounters with other species, including a kangaroo and a walrus, that resulted in vet visits.

“I just hope he doesn’t meet a white pointer,” she said.

Noeline said there had also been several occasions where boaties, including Water Police, had tried to ‘rescue’ her dog and she had to reassure them he was alright from her watch post on dry land.

“I got him as a watch dog,” the retiree said.

“He has got a beautiful nature; he loves everyone to death.”

Readers have shared similar stories of other dogs swimming with dolphins on posts shared by the Community Newspaper Group masthead and Jarvis Eyes Facebook pages.