OMAHA, Neb. — A Labrador retriever lived up to its name Friday when he plucked his 12-year-old owner out of the Platte River, near North Bend.
Tony Bailey can usually swim in the river, but recent rains have pushed it up higher than normal and whipped up unusual currents. When Tony jumped into the Platte on Friday, he was quickly sucked in.
“It was, like, over my head and I couldn’t touch,” he said.
He was only a few feet away from the shore, but the river current was strong enough that it was pulling him down and under. He said his cries for help weren’t being heard by anyone, except Jake, the 4-year-old Lab.
“I was saying, ‘Help, help,’ and I saw him jump in, and then my head went under, and when I came up, he was right here by me,” Tony said.
Tony said the dog swam out next to him and he grabbed the dog’s neck. The dog swam back to shore with the boy in tow.
“It’s something that I wouldn’t have expected him to do — to have the brains to do, I guess,” said Tony’s mother, Diane.
Diane Bailey said Jake isn’t usually the smartest dog.
“He doesn’t listen. He doesn’t mind,” she said.
“Sometimes he can act real hyper and weird,” said Tony. “He’ll pick up rocks and think they’re balls and wants you to throw them to him.”
He was just smart enough on Friday.
“You think you know your dog so well, but then he does something like this,” said Diane Bailey. “He’s got a big heart and he does have a brain in there.”
“Thanks guy,” said Tony. “I love him so much.”
Diane Bailey said she thinks the river channel changed during the flooding and washed out much of the bank where her son swims, which is why it was so unexpectedly deep.
Jake got a very big bone for efforts and was forgiven for every hole he dug and all the mud he tracked into the house, the Baileys said.