Sunday, October 9, 2011

In the news: Doberman puppy saves drowning man

I'm already sold on the Doberman breed, I know. I don't need any convincing that they're truly remarkable dogs, fantastic companions, and exceedingly smart.  So, I was intrigued but unsurprised when I saw a Yahoo! news story about a Doberman puppy saving a man's life.

Elka, not the hero puppy, at around the same age but probably older.

The puppy, at 14 weeks, was walking on a beach in Mumbles, U.K. (what a name!) when the puppy apparently started barking, with his paws in the water.  Apparently the puppy (who isn't named in the article, which I think is poor reporting) isn't really a fan of the water so the owner, smart man, took notice.  Apparently, a swimmer was caught in the current and exhausted, effectively drowning.  The puppy's owner hied to the lifesaving station and they got the guy out of the water.

Now, Elka has done things like notice if the water on the stove is boiling, alerts me to a migraine, and knows if a person is sad.  But these happen in the home, with people she knows.  This guy out in the water was undoubtedly a stranger to the Anonymous Doberman puppy, and yet, the little guy still assessed something was wrong, and was concerned for his welfare.  Yeah, I anthropomorphize a bit but, well, these dogs express an intelligence sometimes that seems to go beyond "animal". Or perhaps we should just take the gloves off and admit that humans are, in fact, still animals.

Even if Hero Puppy didn't think to himself "Oi, that bloke's drowning!" (he's from the UK, how else would he think to himself?), he still noticed a human in the water, and exhibited behavior he would not otherwise (paws in the water).  That's a little more than a coincidence.  And I hope he got a special dinner that night!  Maybe his owner will consider a hobby in Search and Rescue, as his dog is clearly a natural.


  1. I love stories like that! We puppies are amazing! :D


  2. What a wonderful story about a remarkable puppy!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! We love new friends! We are now following you and look forward to hearing more of your stories!

  3. @ Luna puppies are really amazing!

    @FiveSibesMom It was such a neat story, I just had to share! Also, you're welcome and thanks for coming on over!

  4. Just seeing this one now from your car crash rescue story. Did you say Elka alerts you to a migraine? I'd love to know what she does and how you figured out what she was saying. Did you write about that elsewhere on the blog?

    1. She does alert me to a migraine! Mostly she just "talks" to me in an insistent way (different from her "I need food/water/out" kind of way), and she watches me intently, won't let me out of her sight, etc. and she does this before I have pain symptoms. Sometimes it's before I ever even get any "aura" or sparkly vision or whatever, which is why it's hard sometimes to realize what she means (something I need to work on).

      I wrote about it when I wrote about service dogs the first time:

      And also in this post:

  5. This is the real side of the doberman breed. Wonderful pup!