Search and rescue crews worked to pluck a panicked puppy out of the Vedder River Monday. (Submitted photo)

Soggy dog plucked from Vedder River by Chilliwack Search and Rescue

A 10 month old puppy bit off far more than she could chew throwing herself into the rushing river

A Chilliwack woman is happy to have her Burmese Mountain Dog home and happy after a tense river rescue.

Cheryl Schuh credits three helpful teenagers and emergency crews for saving her precocious puppy after the 10 month old got herself into a tough spot.

Cheryl says she was walking the Vedder Rotary Trail Monday when her dog suddenly bolted, and threw herself into the fast-moving river. Cheryl scrambled down a steep bank and watched as the panicked pup tried to get back to shore. The dog was able to dig her paws into a slippery rock jutting out from a thick patch of blueberry bushes, and held on for dear life as the river tried to sweep her away.

“I live by Cultus Lake and her ventures have always been joyous in shallow, still and safe water,” Cheryl says. “I understood her enthusiastic frenzy seeing water, but she just learned how to swim the last two weeks.”

From her spot by the rushing river, Cheryl looked up to the trail and saw three teenage boys.

READ MORE: Chilliwack Search and Rescue ready to recruit new members

READ MORE: Harrowing rescue for woman and daughter on Fraser River

She got their attention and they came down to join her. She says they were very helpful, and she wishes she’d had a chance to thank them in the moment.

“One stayed with me while I was on the phone with police and another scouted the landmarks and described the area,” she says. “The third one shot off to the parking lot to direct emergency personnel once they got there.

“Because of them I was able to stay put and constantly encourage my puppy to stand and stay, even as her feet constantly slipped from under her. If I’d had to leave for any reason, she would have panicked and jumped back into the river.”

Police were first on the scene, but an attempt by an officer to cut through thorny bushes with a machete failed.

A fire truck arrived next and there was thought given to using a ladder, but eventually it was decided this was a job for search and rescue. When they arrived, a tethered SAR team member went out into the water, with another close behind.

The dog was scooped up and passed back to safety.

“My previously whimpering puppy joyfully bounded back onto solid land,” Cheryl says. “My heartfelt deepest thanks for this team of enthusiastic and able rescuers. Their dedication and innovation towards a successful conclusion helped my afternoon end in heartfelt joy, and gratitude for the privilege to live in a country where all lifeforms are worthy of life saving efforts.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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