Sometimes dog owners might wonder what their canine companions do when they’re not around, but few would imagine a heroic rescue like the one that happened recently in a backyard pool in Boskburg, South Africa.
For Chucky the lucky toy Pomeranian pooch, the day could have ended tragically. The tiny 13-year-old pup accidentally slipped and fell into the family swimming pool, and though he was able to keep himself afloat, he couldn’t get out. If he were alone, he could easily have gotten worn out and drowned.
Thankfully, his best friend Jessie, a 7-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, was there with him and noticed his struggle. Poor Jessie was desperate to get him out, as shown in the home’s security camera footage that captured the harrowing incident. In scenes from the footage, we can see Jessie trying to work out how to get Chucky out of the water without hurting him, and it’s seriously the sweetest thing. What we don’t see in this short clip is that it actually took Jessie 34 minutes to rescue him—she just wouldn’t give up.
Incredible moment hero dog saves best friend from drowning in swimming pool
After multiple gentle attempts at tugging him out of the water by his ear, Jessie succeeds, and the two doggos then scuttle off to play together, happy as can be.
The dogs’ owners, Byron Thanarayen and his wife Melissa, discovered the footage while trying to solve the mystery of why Chucky’s head was wet. Byron told The Times South Africa that Melissa insisted he might have been in the swimming pool, but he said the dogs never went into the pool unsupervised.
“We tried to look for clues as to where he could have wet his head,” he said. “We thought maybe he dipped his head in the water, but there was no mess in the house to support this suggestion.”
They finally checked the security cameras and discovered that Chucky had slipped, then watched the whole rescue play out.
“It was heart-wrenching to watch,” Byron told The Times. “We still struggle to watch that video today, just thinking of what could have happened if Jessie was not there.”
Jessie is a rescue dog that Byron and Melissa adopted from the SPCA four years ago. They are Jessie’s third owners, and oddly enough, the previous owners had returned her to the SPCA because they said she didn’t get along with their other dogs. That was not the case here, as Byron said Jessie got along with their other two dogs from the day they brought her home.
“Jessie is the best dog we have ever had,” Byron said. “I’m really proud of her, considering she’s the youngest.”
Byron told The Times that their dogs know how to swim, but they only swim when they’re in the pool with them. The incident is a good reminder that accidents can happen and that even if dogs know how to swim, leaving them unsupervised by a swimming pool isn’t a good idea. Byron and Melissa said they’ll be installing a pool cover now.
“It never occurred to us previously that we needed the cover, but since this incident we saw how important it is to have one,” he said.
There are no solid statistics on how many pets drown in family swimming pools because most incidents don’t get reported, but estimates are in the thousands. Northeast Animal Hopsital in St. Petersburg, Florida suggests knowing the risks for your own dogs, safeguarding the pool area with gates that animals can’t get over or around, teaching dogs to swim (but not relying on that alone), and making sure to supervise your animals when they are near any large body of water.
Thankfully, Chucky’s story had a happy ending, but not every dog will have a Jessie around to save them. This video is a good reminder that pets and pools can be a dangerous combo, as well as a good reminder that dogs are truly incredible creatures.