Imagine this. You’re working on an oil rig about 135 miles off the coast of Thailand. You’re in the middle of the ocean going about your day when you notice something approaching the deck. It’s not a fish or a dolphin or some random debris that is playing tricks on your mind. It’s a dog, swimming in the ocean towards a most welcome site: humans that can help him!
No one knows how this strong swimmer came to be so far from land but a theory that he fell off a fishing boat makes sense. It would take a typical fishing trawler at least six hours to travel that distance and a slower moving pup, far longer. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t swept out from shore, though.
The United States Coast Guard educates people in coastal areas to “do nothing” in the event that their beloved pup is swept out to sea. As impossible as it may seem to sit back and watch your desperate dog be carried way, swimming after him may cost you your life. I think we would all risk it!
Dogs are Built for Swimming
Dogs are far better swimmers than humans. They have a low center of gravity, water repellent fur, four legs to paddle, and in some cases, webbed feet. On top of that, dogs have a strong survival instinct with a single minded focus to get to safety. That certainly was the case for this Thai cutie.
The struggling dog was first noticed by Chevron workers, including Vitisak Payalaw. Payalaw held a pole out for him but the pup couldn’t get a good grip and kept slipping. He eyed his potential saviors silently pleading for them to not give up.
Payalaw told CNN, “His eyes were so sad. He just kept looking up just like he wanted to say, ‘please help me.’ At that moment, whoever saw this, they would just have to help.”
A Happy Ending
They were able to tie a rope around him and pull him to safety. He was bathed, given fresh water, and lots of love. His rescuers named him Boonrod, which means “the saved one.”
He is being cared for by animal rescue group, Watchdog Thailand. They are making sure he fully recovers and is receiving all the food, water, and attention he so richly deserves. If his family does not come forward, rescuer Payalaw intends to adopt him. That brings a smile to all of our faces!