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Rescue

It took me a little while to unwind from the long drive.  I paced my parents condo for a few minutes to stretch my legs and chatted with my mother while she put water in a pot for tea.  The condo was bright and airy.  It had a wide open floor plan and nice big windows overlooking the inlet.  The sun was shining on the water. casting a light shadow in ripples as the water gently lapped against the edge. 

I leaned against the wall and stared out the window at the inlet and the few small boats docked nearby.  My mother handed me a cup of sweetened tea and my eyes drifted from the inlet to the room where conversation and family members mingled.  It was a relaxed atmosphere and everyone was enjoying the company.

The mug I drank from was large and warm; I grasped it with both hands and took a sip.  My gaze was drawn back to the water and its' gentle movement.  As my eyes swept the area closest to the house I noticed a dog splashing in the water.  She must have chased a duck or bird and jumped in.  It took a moment to register, but I realized the dog was struggling.  Surveying the waters edge I noticed that there was a wall all the away across.  There was no bank or incline. The dog was trapped with no way to get out.

I called for my husband to come and take a look and asked him what we could do.  He watched the dog while he thought for a minute, then asked my father if he had a ladder.  Dad said no, but he thought a neighbor kept one outside, against the building.  

My husband and I ran outside.  I went to watch the dog while he went to find the ladder.  It took him a few minutes, but he did find it and brought it to the top of the wall at the waters edge.  He secured half of the ladder on the ground, using his own body weight, and swung the other half across the water towards the dog.

The dog climbed onto the ladder and hung on as my husband slowly swung it across the water and onto the grassy yard.  As my husband rested the ladder on the grass, he warned me not to get close to the dog because she was clearly hurting, completely exhausted, and probably defensive.  Of course I wanted to go over and comfort her, but I let go and left the dog alone.  

She slowly squirmed off the ladder and flattened herself to the ground.  Her body was heaving and shaking; her tongue hung out as she panted heavily.  We decided to leave her alone, but keep an eye on her to make sure she was alright.  She seemed okay, just completely and utterly spent.

We went back inside and watched her from the window.  She stayed in that position for a couple of hours and did not move.  Eventually she got up and trotted off towards what must have been home for her.  She was a beautiful German Shepherd with wonderful markings.  We couldn't help wonder if her owners missed her, how long she had been gone, and if they would ever know what happened.

It was an amazing quiet rescue and I am grateful that we were there to help this beautiful dog.  I only hope she did not jump into that water again.

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