Feel-Good Hero Dog Story: Rocky & His Owner Rescued Two Little Girls from Drowning in Freezing River in Alberta (video)
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on May 19, 2013
Somehow, I missed this feel-good, dog-saves-kids story from last month. On Easter Sunday afternoon, a heroic oil worker and his equally heroic Labrador retriever-husky mix named Rocky saved two young girls from drowning in the freezing cold, glacier-fed North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, Alberta. The girls had fallen through the ice while tobogganing in a riverside park.
God bless Adam Shaw and his dog Rocky. Their quick, selfless actions, which put both their own lives at risk, saved the lives of the two children. Had Rocky and Adam been even a few minutes later, the girls would likely have been gone.
He’s a brave hero who never turns his back on a fight, and his name is Rocky.
Not the boxer famously played by Sylvester Stallone, but this labrador-husky cross, who helped his owner drag a nine-year-old girl to safety after she fell into the fast-flowing waters of Canada’s icy North Saskatchewan River.
Rocky’s owner Adam Shaw told how his dog jumped into the water, allowing Samara Sunshine – who had fallen in with her 10-year-old sister while out tobogganing – to grab on to his lead as he towed her back to the snow-covered riverbank.
Mr Shaw, 27, who was alerted by the sisters’ screams while out walking with his dog in Edmonton on Sunday, managed to haul Krymzen to safety, but Samara was swept out of his reach by the current, according to a CNN report.
He tried to throw his dog’s lead to the girl for her to grab on, but she was already too far away, so Mr Shaw reattached it to Rocky and instructed his dutiful dog to jump in the water.
‘He jumped in right beside her,’ said Mr Shaw. ‘I called him back and he swam toward the ice.’
Rocky managed to tow Samara close enough to the bank for his owner to grab her arm, and his pet, and get them away from the water’s edge.
Fire crews arrived shortly after Samara was pulled on to the riverbank and the sisters were taken for treatment.
Mr Shaw, who said it was ‘a bit of a miracle’ that everything had worked out, and his dog were honoured for their efforts at the local fire station on Monday.
Fire chief Ken Block, who said the Sunshine sisters were ‘very, very fortunate’ that Mr Shaw and his pet came along, presented the 27-year-old with a fireman’s hat, while Rocky was rewarded with a giant rawhide bone.
Dog Helps Rescue Two Girls from Icy River
From CNN, Hero dog helps pull girl from icy river:
Rocky’s been a fictional hero for decades, but in Edmonton, Alberta, today there’s a hero named Rocky who is definitely real — only he’s 8 years old and has four legs.
This Rocky, a Labrador retriever-husky mix, is being hailed for pulling a 9-year-old girl from an icy river on Easter Sunday. His owner, Adam Shaw, 27, is getting similar praise.
“If that man and dog weren’t there — I just try not to think of it,” Miranda Wagner, the mother of Samara, 9, and her 10-year-old sister, Krymzen, said in an interview with CNN affiliate CTV.
“I just want to give him a big hug and tell him he’s my hero. If he wasn’t there I wouldn’t have my girls,” Wagner said. “Doctors said two more minutes and Samara would have been gone.”
From Calgary Herald, Hero says dog helped save girls from icy river:
A Fort Saskatchewan oil worker who rescued two girls from the icy waters of the North Saskatchewan River credits adrenalin and his adventurous dog for saving their lives.
Adam Shaw and his family were walking on a footbridge around 4: 30 p.m. on Sunday when they heard someone screaming. They thought it was kids playing, but looked down and saw one girl floating in the water, her sister reaching to pull her out.
“I just really didn’t want to fail. I really wanted to save them,” Shaw, 27, said at a Monday news conference at a downtown fire station. “I was just really scared.”
After yelling to the girls to stay there and try to hold onto the ice, Shaw handed his backpack to his wife, Kelsey, who called 911 and stayed with their two small children.
Shaw sprinted down the bridge with Rocky, an eight-year-old, 110-pound Labrador retriever-husky cross. The pair ran through the bushes and onto the shore.
Shaw’s wife told dispatchers the girl appeared to be unconscious, while her husband raced out of sight following the girl downriver. He found her bobbing up and down a metre or two from the edge. He yelled to the girl, asking if she could swim closer to the shore. She said she couldn’t move her arms or legs.
Shaw stepped toward her and the ice crumbled beneath him, plunging him and Rocky into freezing water.
After a few attempts to scramble back on the ice, Rocky managed to get his front paws up out of the water. Shaw pushed the dog’s hind end up onto the ice, then grabbed his leash and pulled himself out with the dog’s help.
Soaked and freezing, Shaw searched for the girl, spotting her a few seconds later 50 to 60 metres downriver. After getting close enough, he yelled to the girl that he would send his dog toward her and asked her to try to grab Rocky’s leash. Rocky jumped in and the girl managed to grab the leash one hand at a time. Shaw called the dog back, and Rocky tried to scamper up the ice. Shaw pulled the dog up, followed by the girl.
As he sat on shore, Shaw’s phone started to ring. It was the Edmonton Fire Rescue water rescue team.
By the time firefighters met them on shore, the girl was hypothermic. Rocky sat protectively beside the pair, growling as firefighters approached.