Sunday, August 07, 2005

Golden News (Update 2): Jake beats 428!

I just love a boy who can swim!

Credit under Photo: Chronicle / Shelley Eades

And this is an another story about my hero, Jake!

With a stomach full of scrambled eggs, Jake dog-paddled his way into history, leaving most of the serious - and human - swimmers in his wake.

Organizers of the South End Rowing Club's 10th annual Alcatraz Invitational - a 1.2 mile swim from the infamous prison island to the San Francisco shoreline - say the 65-pound golden retriever is the first canine known to have made the crossing.

The crowd cheered as the 4-year-old pooch made his way onto solid ground, shaking sprays of water and dodging a woman who tried to put a medal around his neck.

"It was colder and rougher than we thought it would be," said Jeff Pokonosky, Jake's owner and swim partner. "Jake amazed me. He was very focused. He started out really fast. I was trying to slow him down. He increased his pace to stay with the pack."

Bill Wygant, president of the South End Rowing Club, said he was more than happy to allow a dog into the race, a first for the more than 100-year-old group.

"This swim is about personal challenge," Wygant said. "Whether you are dog or human, it's whatever you can achieve that counts."

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