One Small Hero

One Small Hero

The main arm of Kootenay Lake in British Columbia is very deep and very cold, even in summer. It is much like a Norwegian fjord set in the heart of the mountains, the mountain sides dropping steeply down to the water. Although the temperatures get quite warm in summer, they do not quite heat up the heart of the lake. For local people and tourists alike, this makes a rather short swimming season, since even in the height of summer, the water is still quite chilly. However, all of this makes the lake very good for fishing.

Bill was a retired man who liked to go fishing. In fact, he would camp on the lakeshore, with his dog, Peanut, and fish for a few days at a time. Peanut enjoyed doing everything with Bill, and people chuckled to see this small, black and white Dachshund cross enjoying such things as camping and fishing. But he did. He would do anything as long as he went with Bill.

On the last fishing trip, Bill suffered a heart attack in the boat. What happened afterwards has been pieced together by people who were watching from the shore. Bill fell out of the boat. Immediately after him, Peanut jumped into the lake even though he does not usually swim. He tried to help Bill but could not. Peanut could not get back into the boat and by the time people from the shore got there, they could not find him. Only Bill, who had by than time passed away.

On his own, Peanut was carried by the current for about two kilometers down the lake. When he finally made it to shore, he trekked on his small legs back to the campsite, another kilometer along the rough, rocky shore, and waited there for Bill to return. The people who had taken Bill away found his small companion at the campsite, still waiting. Peanut was not able to save Bill but he was certain his owner would return.

It is amazing that Peanut survived the cold and the long swim, then run back to camp. But he did. And he must have been frightened when he jumped into the water after Bill, but he still went in just the same. He wanted to save Bill.

After his loss, Peanut found a loving home with other people. Though for a long time, he still waited for Bill. Peanut adjusted to his new home, and loved his new companions, Anne and Larry, just as much as they loved him.

True story by Sharman Horwood

From the SMARTER than JACK team 

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Sharman Horwood
True Story?: