Tony Bailey is a good swimmer. The 12-year-old loves to swim in the Platte River
near North Bend, NE.; however, when Tony jumped in recently, he was quickly sucked
in. Recent rains had swollen the river and Tony found that the water was now very
deep with unusual currents. "It was, like, over my head and I couldn't touch," said
Tony. Although he was only a few feet away from the shore, the strong current immediately
began to pull him away from the shore and under.
Tony tried to cry for help, but he kept going under. His cries went unheard by everyone
except for Jake, the 4-year-old family Labrador Retriever. Tony says that he saw Jake jump in and
then his head went under the water. When he surfaced, there was Jake right beside
him. He was able to grab the dog's neck and was taken back to shore by the pet.
Diane Bailey, Tony's mother, was shocked to learn that the Lab had acted so quickly.
"It's something that I wouldn't have expected him to do," she said. "(Jake) doesn't
listen. He doesn't mind."
Diane thinks that the heavy rains and flooding had changed the river channel, washing
out much of the bank and making the river unexpectedly deep. "You think you know
your dog well, and then he goes and does something like this. He's got a big heart
and he does have a brain in there." Jake was rewarded for his bravery with a very
big bone and the family has now forgiven every hole that he has dug along with every
muddy footprint that he has tracked into the house.