Skip to comments.Boy, 14, paddles to dog's rescue in Liberty Bay [Washington]
Posted on 08/26/2010 10:39:42 AM PDT by JoeProBono
POULSBO Neighbors are giving 14-year-old Kohl Serwold a hero's welcome after he rescued his dog from drowning last week.
Kali, a 3-year-old Golden Retriever who often plays in the waters near the Serwold's Scandia home, swam nearly 400 yards into Liberty Bay chasing two seals last Thursday. Neighbors said the tide was high and the seals were circling the dog, drawing her farther from shore. Several of them called the dog back, but she kept swimming.
Serwold was mowing the lawn when he noticed the canine swimming away.
"It was farther than normal so I started calling her. She would turn around, then she'd keep going," he said.
So Serwold followed a family rule and donned a life jacket before climbing in his family's kayak and paddling after Kali.
"She got more than halfway out by the time I finally got her," he said. "You could tell she was having trouble."
Kali was exhausted when Serwold reached her, and she began to panic, first trying to scramble onto the kayak, then jumping off of it, knocking off Serwold's paddle and nearly capsizing him.
Serwold was finally able to pull her aboard, and he waited until she sat down to safely paddle home.
The seals followed them the entire journey, he said, at times swimming close enough to touch.
Several neighbors cheered on the rescue.
"It was a real act of bravery on his part," said neighbor Jim LaFramboise.
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife spokesman Craig Bartlett called the incident "highly unusual" and said the seals were likely either goofing around or protecting their pups.
"Seals don't normally interact that way with mammals. They're fish eaters," Bartlett said. "We haven't heard or seen anything like that before."
Seals aren't known to work in packs and usually eat salmon or squid. They are curious and playful, and this is pupping season, Bartlett said.
Kohl's father, Kurt Serwold, a Poulsbo firefighter who wasn't home at the time of the rescue, suspects Kali was similarly curious of the seals.
"I just hope she learned her lesson," he said.
A neighbor took this photo of Kohl Serwold retrieving dog Kali after she followed two seals nearly 400 yards into Liberty Bay.
Kohl Serwold, 14, and dog Kali
I’m glad it worked out. But, I’ve seen several stories where someone drowns trying to save a dog in high or rushing water ... that’s a lot to risk for an animal.
Dog’s best friend.
Very risky maneuver trying to rescue an animal as the boy learned. I’m glad it turned out well. Many people have drowned trying to rescue their dog or other dogs. btw. I love dogs.
Great job. Looks like a nice kid and a good doggy.
Wow, interesting article! It sure is nice to get a break from all the doom and gloom articles every now and then. :)
I’d risk everything for my animals. Way to go, kiddo!
Maybe she’ll find an island where there’s shady trees...
Sounds like seals wanted to play
Ah, I’m so glad this had a happy ending!
I’d rather drown than live the rest of my life knowing I didn’t even try to help my dog.
You’d risk everything? You’d risk your children growing up without a mother? You’d let your children risk their own death — for instance, blocking an oncoming truck — for a dog? I don’t get it. I would voluntarily GIVE my life for my child — but not for an animal. Human life supercedes.
Like I said, I’m glad it worked out. The end of such stories is often not as pretty as this one.
This young man made sure he followed the family rule of putting on his life vest. Plus he had his kayak but bays can be dangerous. Sounds like this Golden may need to be kept on a long leash from now on.
Yeah but the kid was smart and donned a life jacket.
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