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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
02.06.2013

Today I decided to take Hunter for a swim in the grand river. After the heavy rainfall, the waters were high and the current and undertow were very strong. I went to the dock and kept him on leash in a calm area, letting him swim back and forth along the dock to work his muscles and heart safely. We did that until some people on a boat came to fix the docks. Then we decided to go for a hike along the river.

I found a quiet spot under the large king st. bridge with shallow water and decided to let him back in and toss a stick a little bit in for him. Went fine for 15-20 minutes and we were both enjoying the day, until Hunter decided to abandon the stick I threw for a larger one swimming down the river. It grabbed him as I called for him to return to me and leave it, he tried, but got swept into the undertow where the river collides with one of the bridge's pillars and pushed to the other side where I couldn't see him. Within seconds I saw his nose poke out where I saw him last from behind the pillar, he was fighting to beat the current and get back to me. I encouraged him and moved along the bank to encourage him to come over. Minutes went by, and he had made no progress just hovered in space swimming hard. Then I saw him starting to drift back with the current, and his head disappeared behind the pillar.

I cried out, calling his name. I dropped my bag and went charging into the river. It was my fault he was in there, he was getting tired, and I was going in to save him. I felt pulled to him like gravity, unable to think of anything but grabbing him. He heard me coming, and started swimming hard again. He popped out around the corner and I made my way to him. I was up to my chest in cold, hard rushing water and it made me hyperventilate. I reached for him, but he was still another foot away. He was starting to drift farther away, so I moved in to grab him.

That is when my feet came up from under me and I was suddenly on my back, hand on Hunter's collar. We traveled down river fast, Hunter trying to calmly swim to shore. He couldn't do it, undertow was too strong. I managed to catch my foot (was wearing shoes) on a large rock, where some treading kept Hunter and I in one place. I held Hunter in my arms and let him rest, he was breathing pretty hard. I yelled for help, but my voice was so weak from the cold suffocating feeling against my chest from the river. I tried, but no one was around and my voice wasn't loud enough. I felt absolute dread and sadness, I felt my foot slipping and thought "This is it. We are going to drown and die here in this river."|

Hunter started trying to swim again, so I knew the only thing left to do was try. I told him "Okay, Hunter.. I need you to swim for me ok?" Hunter gave it all he got swimming, my arms around his chest, kicking hard with my back legs until I held on to him with only one hand and used my free hand to help move us. We both swam hard, and he was totally calm and clear headed during the whole thing. No panic, listening to me telling him to wait and rest and when to go again. He kept us from moving farther out, and my little bit of swimming moved us forward slowly.

My feet touched a large cinderblock, and I almost cried. There was a row of the leading back towards the pillar holding the bridge up. Hunter and I swam against the current, my feet pushing us along the blocks. Once we got to the pillar, I pushed us around it on the "ledge" and finally got away from the current. Hunter swam to shore, my tired body clinging to him the whole way.

I honestly thought Hunter and I were done. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have made it out of there. I had already inhaled water, and felt weak and tight-muscled from the cold. He was my hero as much as I was his. Having him swim with me on his back to the shoreline makes my throat so tight it hurts. I collapsed on the ground and reached for my phone, and he quietly laid in front of me between me and the river. I called my mom, called my husband. I collected myself, numb and panic-stricken with my fingers in Hunter's wet coat. Eventually I got up to walk myself back, as people in canoes gathered 10 feet away unsure why a fully clothed, soaking wet girl and her dog sat by the river. Nobody knew what happened.

We walked back to my car while I cried quietly, having never been in such a situation before. Have never stepped foot in a river before, now very aware of the true dangers of water and what an "undertow" and "strong current" feel like first hand. What is feels like to be helpless, and just want to save someone you love.

I learned my lessons, won't be going near the river ever again. Only lakes from now on! I also learned what it means to have a strong bond of love with a dog, and what it means to fight for each other and save each other.

Hunter is my hero today. My heart, my boy, my best friend, my rescuer. I saved him, he saved me - this time not just in a spiritual sense, but a physical one. I dare somebody to look at me and tell me "he's just a dog".

Thank you for reading, sorry it was so long. A horrible experience with a very lucky good ending, could have ended in my death. Bragging today, because Hunter helped us save each other from drowning in a strong moving, overfilled grand river.

Please don't say I shouldn't have gone in to save him.


A warning to those who let their dogs take a dip in rivers - be very careful. (Honestly, it's not even worth the risk...)

P.S: Darn dog wanted to go swimming again while we were walking back to the car... talk about a fighting spirit. :p
 

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Wow. Glad you're ok!!

The rain had been crazy the last week and I know my wife and I were looking at the Grand today saying its moving much quicker and is a lot higher
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow. Glad you're ok!!

The rain had been crazy the last week and I know my wife and I were looking at the Grand today saying its moving much quicker and is a lot higher
Thank you. Yeah, it is brutal. It looks calm at times, but people have no clue what is underneath the surface. I should have known better, and I am the first to admit I am a young and inexperienced girl but I had no idea it was that strong and powerful... have never tried swimming or messing around in a river, so never had to worry about it. just glad Hunter and I are alive.
 

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Wow!!! Amazing story!!! Glad you are both okay!!!

My boy and I had a close call with a low head **** a few years ago. Nothing scarier!!!

What a hero you were to each other!!!


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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What a terrifying experience! I'm so glad both of you are safe! And thanks for sharing your story, because I'm sure that not very many people know how dangerous a river can be. I know I don't - I've been pulled under in the ocean before, which is so scary - but I didn't think a river could be as bad. The high water levels this spring have kept us out of ours only because I worried about the sewage overflow, gross but true. I'm definitely going to rethink going in at all until the levels settle back to normal now, because of your awful, awful ordeal. Thanks again, you may have saved some lives beside your own :)
 

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I'm so glad you both are okay!

The story gave me chills...you were much calmer than I could have ever been.
 

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What a touching story...I cannot imagine how scary thet must have been. What a wonderful bond you and Hunter have. I am so glad that you are alright. I will definately rethink letting my dogs swim in the river from now on. Thanks for sharing your story with us.
 

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You won't hear me say you shouldn't have gone in... darn right I would have!! You are BOTH heros!!
 

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Scary, glad you and Hunter were able to make it out. After inhaling water, maybe you should go get checked out. Sometimes people have problems after incidents like this, just to be safe.
 

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Oh my goodness. Thank God you are both safe. I agree with Nigel. Get yourself checked out - just as a precaution.
 

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Oh my goodness! I'm glad you two are ok! I do believe Hunter and your bond is strong especially since both of you remained calm and saved each other!!! I think if Zeeva or Smokey and I had been in your spot, my pups would've tried to use me as a flotation device! You're a brave girl. Stay safe both of you!

<3
 

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Wow, I'm glad both of you are ok!

Honestly I probably would have done the same thing
 

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Wow... how terrifying! I'm glad you both made it out safely!

Good Boy Hunter!!
 

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You are so lucky . OMG. You know Toronto Police recovered the body of a 35 year old man who went in after his dog (who was fine) . Glad you and Hunter are safe !!!

Does a warm bath sound appealing . May not . Maybe no water for a long time .

We have had so much flash monsoon type downpours this weekend I joked and said my youngest grand daughter might need swimming lessons to get to school.

That water must have been roaring . I can't even imagine.

Better do take that soak in hot water and some Epsom salts - lots - and long time so that your muscles won't ache as much tomorrow. Same for Hunter , he is going to be one sore puppy.
 

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I am so glad that you guys were there for each other..give that boy a nice big steak!!
 

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What a terrifying experience! I'm so glad both of you are safe! And thanks for sharing your story, because I'm sure that not very many people know how dangerous a river can be. I know I don't - I've been pulled under in the ocean before, which is so scary - but I didn't think a river could be as bad. The high water levels this spring have kept us out of ours only because I worried about the sewage overflow, gross but true. I'm definitely going to rethink going in at all until the levels settle back to normal now, because of your awful, awful ordeal. Thanks again, you may have saved some lives beside your own :)
I agree, rivers can be very dangerous especially with all the recent rainfall. And I also agree about the pollution flowing in.
I'm glad you both made it out safely....could have ended so very different! I bet you'll be feeling the pain tomorrow when your adrenaline levels off!
 

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Thank you for sharing your story, I got a little teary-eyed reading it. Thank God the both of you are okay and I would like to think I would have done the same thing in a similar situation.
 

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Oh, how scary...so glad you are both ok, and have each other...
 
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