The dog was barking feverishly and intensely, and louder than ever before, so what was the problem? Well, they soon found out…
Harry Smith is a Port St. Lucie, Florida resident who has had a black beagle mix he calls Sarah Jane for the past seven years. Mr. Smith uses an electric wheelchair so that he can get around, but despite that he diligently takes Sarah out for at least two walks a day.
Sarah is just like many other dogs, appreciating the gesture. However, this one canine in particular definitely proved her loyalty by helping Smith, 81, when he fell out of his wheelchair and nearly drowned on one of their walks.
The two were doing nothing more than enjoying their walk, but that was when Smith’s electric wheelchair suddenly lost traction on the ground covering. His wheelchair tipped over, and he rolled down the embankment and flipped into a pond.
Unfortunately, Smith is not able to swim, so his legs are powerless, and he was barely even able to keep his head above the water. That is when Sarah Jane began splashing into the water and began barking as loudly as she could.
Luckily, there were some people nearby who had heard the commotion.
Aby “Jacob” Chacko and Edward Suhling were on a work project on a nearby trailer when they heard the dog barking frantically. Considering that Port St. Lucie is so close to the swamp, they thought that the dog had encountered an alligator.
“The dog was splashing in the water,” Suhling told Treasure Coast Palm. “So we both ran over here and I jumped in the water, and my buddy grabbed his arms and I grabbed his legs and we got him up on shore.
“Instantly I just jumped in. It’s just a natural reaction … You could just see it in his face. He thought he was dying.”
“As soon as I got here I saw the wheelchair and the dog and I recognized my neighbor Harry so I, you know, got in the water,” Chacko said.
Fortunately, Chacko soon spotted a policeman when he was going over to the scene and got his attention. The law enforcement officer recognized Mr. Smith once he arrived at the pond.
“I knew I had to help,” Chacko said. “I was very happy to see the officer going by.”
All three of the men managed to get Mr. Smith out of the water and back on solid ground, where he was checked out and found to be no worse for the wear even though he had just drowned.
The Port St. Lucie Police Department was so thrilled about the rescue that they posted a note about it on Facebook so that they could recognize the Good Samaritans and the man’s dog of course.
“Officer Doty exited his patrol vehicle and observed Mr. Smith was submerged up to his neck in the water,” the post read. “The 2 bystanders and Officer Doty worked together to pull him out of the water and up the bank. Mr. Smith received medical attention on the scene and was ok to return home. Due to his electric wheelchair being damaged from falling in the water, Officer Doty and St. Lucie County Fire District assisted by pushing him back to his home.
“We are thankful for Mr. Smith’s dog and the 2 bystanders that helped save his life! And as the saying remains true … A man’s best friend is his dog.”
The three men and Mr. Smith himself have voiced their thanks for Sarah Jane.
“The dog was a real hero,” Suhling acknowledged.
“I love her. Always have, always will,” Smith said. “She’s such a good dog. Everybody in this neighborhood loves her, and they all look out for her.”