An amazing thing happened in the seaside town of Ventura, Calif., last week. A 3-year-old Bernese Mountain dog named Nico, who was recently adopted from a local shelter by Dan and Vivian Clarke, noticed a woman struggling against the riptide. The attentive canine ran into the ocean and swam to the lady in trouble.
The woman’s husband had also swam out to help his wife but soon found himself in a similar situation, unable to tame the riptide. Dan Clarke, a former lifeguard, was amazed at the swiftness and instinctual attitude of Nico, his hero dog.
Clarke watched from the shore as Nico swam to the woman in distress. He shouted to her to grab Nico “anywhere you can.” She put one arm around the super-sized dog’s chest area and the other held tight to her boogie board. Nico guided her to the safety of shallow water.
His work not yet complete, Nico then went to the man struggling in the ocean and did the same for him. “The woman and the gentleman they were just exhausted. They just looked and said, ‘Is that, like, a trained life-saving dog?’” Dan Clarke told KTLA.
His reply? “That’s the first time I’ve seen him doing something like that.
Who says shelter dogs don’t amount to anything? Unfortunately, those who fail to see the pure love and loyalty dogs have for humans.
So many people assume shelter pets are merely castaways whose lives are not worth saving. Nothing can be further from the truth. Everyone deserves a second chance at life, don’t you agree?
There are so many true stories about animals who saved their humans from disasters like house fires or medical emergencies. Have you ever stopped to think why these remarkable creatures are so quick to step up and help save the day?
While there may never be a scientific study to test it, I believe altruism is at work here. When an emergency presents itself, like the swimmers in trouble at a Ventura beach last week, dogs simply do the right thing. Nico must have seen the danger and realized he was capable of providing help.
Anthropomorphic, you say? I have no doubt some will dismiss my idea of dogs being altruistic as such. But answer this: why do so many dogs leap ahead in these impending disasters without so much as a thought for their own potential for demise? Just like humans, some dogs will rush in to help when needed and some won’t.
Don’t believe dogs can think? My suggestion is to observe dogs like Jane Goodall observed primates. Watch how they seem to solve puzzles and discover solutions to problems. When my dog, Avatar was a mere 10-week-old puppy he stood up at the door and tried to turn the door knob. That is not instinctual for canines, it’s a learned problem-solving behavior for a pup who didn’t want to stay inside.
If you find yourself looking to bring another four-footed fur-kid into your home why not visit your local shelter first? You will be amazed at the unconditional love and devotion you will find there. And who knows, maybe your adopted shelter dog will be America’s next hero!