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.
This well-raised self reliant young man did everything right - he put on a life jacket, launched his kayak and saved his dog. The old lifeguard’s motto used to be “row, throw, and go”. Meaning use a boat first, or throw a flotation device second and only swim as a last resort.
Even more refreshing is its lack of diversity.
Oh stop....People don't go into things like this worrying about their own hides...They just do it...
If not for people like this youngster, this would be a really sorry assed planet to live on.
This is a great story with a happy ending.
No, you’re right. I’d stand there watching my dog swim to his death. And I’d think, with my children by my side, “gee, isn’t mommy great? Don’t risk a thing for an animal, sweet faces.
Be a great momma like yours truly. Now, run along and I’ll make you a buttery bowl of popcorn.”
Soon as I saw this I thought “how long before some jerk shows up to sneer that it’s only an animal and human life is so much more precious, blah blah blah.”
“”Sounds like seals wanted to play””
Not too mention the Golden Ret, my GR is a bundle of play, and mischief and fun.
Cute pup. Is that your dog or the kid’s?
People are not all the same.
For some of us, our pets are just about everything. I tend to minimize my intimate contacts with my fellow human beings, and comments like yours reinforce my decision to do so.
You, sir, may think that human life supercedes, but not everyone would agree with you. I would risk my life to rescue any of my three dogs. They mean everything to me. But I can think of a helluva lot of people that I wouldn’t walk across the street to save.
Different strokes for different folks.
Your pet may seem like everything, until your 14-year-old son drowns trying to save him. That was my only point ... it would be a much greater tragedy than simply the loss of a dog for an innocent boy to lose his life attempting to save an animal.
Like I said ... I am glad it worked out.
I am sure I share in all of humanity’s loss with your reduced contact.
Sensibility is often quickly forthcoming on this site. I was neither a jerk, nor snide ... but my position stands.
Why? he put on a life vest and he was in a kayak... seems to me the kid was pretty level-headed through the whole thing. Good for him.
Good story with a happy ending.
What? Despite disagreement from strangers on the internet, your position stands?? My God, give this man a medal for bravery.
Did not know they were democrats...