February 27, 2018 | Posted in WooFPAK Heroes
The lake is large and vast, sunlight shining down onto the smooth waters. It’s a pretty day. By all intents and purposes, it should be an easy day, something that has absolutely no problems, something that can’t really be separated away from the pleasant and picturesque setting.
Except that the scream was unmistakable.
The black inner tube drifts over the still water, empty of any rider.
The young woman is already lurching towards the shore. “Johnny! Johnny, what’s wrong? Where are you!”
“Momma,” screams the boy. He’s out near the center of the lake, flailing around as he desperately tries to keep his head above water. It’s clear that the child isn’t used to swimming. His arms and legs grab at the surface of the lake, but his head keeps vanishing under the water.
“Mommies coming,” shouts the woman. She’s struggling to take her shoes off. There’s fear in her eyes.
Chase whines, tugging at his lead. “That boy’s drowning!”
Luckily, WooFDriver might have wanted a relaxing day away from other humans, but he’s a good human at heart. He’s a smart one, too, quick enough to unclip the lead from the back of Chase’s harness. “Get him, boy!”
Chase throws himself into the lake without need for any more prompting. The water is cold, but his fur is thick, and his top coat is even thicker. The Siberian Husky was bred to pull sleds in freezing cold temperatures. If they took to the water in that climate, they would end up perishing when their coats froze.
But Chase was not raised in the harsh weather of the more northern regions, and he’s always been fond of swimming. There’s a beach on the coast that they occasionally visit in the summer, where dogs are allowed as long as they behave very well.
As a breed, the husky is athletic and has powerful limbs. Swimming might not be the most natural instinct for Chase, but it’s still something that he’s very good at. Especially here, where the lake is deep and large but the waters are still.
The child is still screaming when Chase makes it to the center of the lake, but his thrashing, flailing reaches have started to slow down. Each time his head goes under the water, it stays there a little bit longer.
From the shoreline, WooFDriver bellows, “grab onto the puppy, kid! He’ll help you!”
The boy’s mother, Charlotte, shouts, “do what he says, Johnny! Grab onto the puppy! You’ll be okay, sweetheart! I promise you’re going to be okay.”
Getting close to Johnny isn’t easy. He’s young and scared. The waters are churned up by his flailing, waves splashing into Jag’s face. Small hands make frantic, wild grabs for Chase’s fur, pulling at the thick gray locks.
It’s okay, thinks Chase. Soon as he’s on you, all of that’s going to stop.
Johnny is sobbing and gasping for air. He grabs onto Chase’s fur, hard. The other arm wraps around the husky dog’s neck.
As soon as Chase thinks that the human has got a decent grip, he turns and starts back to the shore with firm, powerful strokes of his legs.
Johnny presses his face into Chase’s wet fur and sobs.
As soon as they get into the shallows, Charlotte rushes forward and grabs up her son. She presses him against her chest and they cry together, saying hushed things that Chase doesn’t care enough to listen too. Princess, Jag, and Zarro surround him, bumping their shoulders together, eager to share their congratulations.
Zarro says, “that was amazing! You were out there like a flash!”
“I wish I got to go swimming,” whines Jag, even though there wasn’t anything particularly relaxing about the trip Chase just took into the lake. “You did good. That better than bringing your stick back to camp?”
Princess wags her tail. She presses herself tight against Chase’s side, ignoring the wet fur. “You did good, Chase. That kid needed your help.”
Chase is about to give a humble protest, but he’s stopped by WooFDriver kneeling in front of him. The human pats his shoulders and Jag obliges, rearing up onto his hind legs and resting a forepaw on either of WooFDriver’s shoulders.
“You are such a good boy,” coos WooFDriver, threading his fingers through Chase’s wet fur. “I am so proud of you! Chase, you are such a brilliant dog!”
Charlotte, finally content in the knowledge that her son is in one piece, turns to the group. Her voice is thick with unshed tears. “Thank you so much. You saved my boy.”
Katelynn E Koontz – Author