Clinic Stories

Trapped In a Lake

While hiking in Alaska, our group came upon a small town, about six buildings with a general store. We took a break with most of the group going into the store to look around. I wandered off and before long heard a hoarse barking that sounded like a dog. Following the sound I came upon a gray-faced old dog standing in water up to his neck shivering, obviously hypothermic. I went back to a trailer home that I had passed and asked if they had a rope. They did not but followed me back to the lake when I explained the situation. Removing my shoes I waded into the cold water and freed the dog whose legs had become bound in aquatic plants. He swam to shore ahead of me, trotted up the bank and headed for the woods with an air of confidence and purpose. The neighbors did not recognize the dog and did not know of anyone living in the direction he was headed. Had I not heard his cry for help, he would not have lasted an hour more.

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