Owning a dog is a privilege many of us have experienced. You spend years getting to know this wonderful pup, and it’s almost scary how quickly they become a part of your family.
It’s always hard because their lifespan is so much shorter than ours, so we have to watch them become seniors, but even though new health challenges arise, they still remain our best buds.
Mark and Emma Cowing had a 12-year-old Border Collie named Fly, and while she had gone blind in her old age due to cataracts, she still loved to go on adventures with them.
The couple brought Fly to the beach with them and while he was having fun playing on the shoreline, things took a turn for the worse.
Mark explained to the BBC that Fly was playing in the sand just along the edge of the water when a large wave swept the poor old boy out to sea.
Fly tried to swim on his own to get back to shore, but Mark knew he had to jump in after him.
“When he got 20 or 30 feet out I had to strip off, down to my underpants, and go and rescue him,” Mark said. “He disappeared out of sight so I presumed he drowned.”
Mark’s search was interrupted when the current became too strong, nearly pulling him under. “I tried to wave for help but I thought I was a goner,” he recalled.
Luckily, a man in a kayak was close enough that he could rush over and pull Mark into his boat to prevent him from drowning and got him safely to the beach.
But Mark wasn’t ready to give up on Fly, even though he hadn’t seen the dog in a while. He called the Coast Guard and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and while he didn’t have much hope, the two teams began their search.
The Coast Guard called in a helicopter and spotted Fly a half a mile out from the shore. They reported the location to the RNLI boat, and they were able to rush in and pull him into the boat.
When he got back to shore, Mark couldn’t believe his eyes. “I was in tears when I saw him, he’s my boy. I just felt a complete and utter idiot for what I did.”
Fly managed to keep his head above water, and his family was so grateful that he was safe that they treated him to the best meal ever followed by a well-deserved nap. “When we got back to the caravan he had four packets of dinner and a pork pie and went to sleep,” Mark said.