I don’t know if I saved this dogs life but here’s what happened. When I was a park ranger, the park I patrolled had a narrow wooden walkway that extended well into the baylands with a railing on both sides. It was all marsh.
I was just ending my shift at about 8:00 pm and some lady frantically ran up to me and told me her dog had climbed through the railing and jumped in the baylands and she didn’t see him or know where he was. So I followed her out on the walkway and we walked up and down calling the dogs name and after a few minutes we heard a faint whimper and I looked over the railing for the dog.
I still couldn’t see it but I knew he was right below so I climbed over the railing myself and jumped down to find him. I looked for a couple minutes and then I saw him. He was laying without moving on his side on a little dirt shelf above the water. He was an older dog and I deduced he had used all his energy to crawl up the dirt and he was spent. He was a Labrador retriever. I got close to him to pet him and comfort him.
I called the lady over and I told her I would pick up the poor dog and hand him to her. I was in my late thirties and a lot stronger than I am now so I scooped him up and he was kind of heavy but the both of us were able to wrestle him back up and over the railing and back on the walkway. The dog was muddy and wet and exhausted but after a few minutes he was able to stand. And soon he got his strength back and he was able to slowly walk.
The owner was so happy and relieved. If I hadn’t been there would have been no one to help her and I guess the dog would have froze or who knows what else. The lady was so grateful and she thanked me. Then she handed me a five dollar bill for rescuing her dog. But our company policy was that we could not accept money for anything we did and even if she only gave me a nickel I wasn’t supposed to take it but she insisted that I take it so to make her feel good I took it.
So she left and I got back in my truck and patrolled the park and then I drove to the front gates at the entrance to the park and locked up the park and headed back to the office. I got back and I wrote a note to my boss explaining what happened and I taped the five dollars to the report. My next shift my woman boss had me tell her the story and she chided me for accepting the money and of course I couldn’t keep it.
But it was a little adventure that ended well and I was kind of proud of myself.