Jessie squirmed in her doggie flotation device. Her tail whipped back and forth rapidly
as she leaned over the edge of the raft and barked at the crests of water as they passed the sides of the boat.
Santa, Molly and Jessie were on holiday and were white water rafting in Alberta. They had spent the morning leisurely coasting down the river but now the water had become rough and the raft occupants were busily paddling trying to keep the boat afloat.
Jessie was enjoying herself immensely. She liked the feel of the spray on her nose and the noise of the water as it lapped by. She would have rushed out of the boat but was securely tied to the middle of the raft with cords to keep her from falling into the churning water.
The morning went quickly until the group turned a bend and the water became rougher than they had seen. Santa , who was at the back of the boat, pushed his paddle in the water a little too roughly. He lost his grip and the paddle floated away from him. Santa leaned a little to far over to grab the oar and fell into the icy water.
Santa’s life jacket kept him above the water and he was able to grab onto a rock. He grasped the stone with all of his strength and waited for someone to rescue him.
Jessie whimpered and began to pull on the cord that attached her to the boat. She barked furiously and pulled as hard as she could until the cord broke. The dog jumped into the water and tried to swim to her friend.
But the water was too strong and the dog began to float down the river away from the boat. “Get, Jessie,” called Santa. “I can wait for the next raft. Save the dog!”
The crew of the raft dipped their paddles into the water with all their strength and steered the raft towards the dog. It took them some time to reach the dog who was now cold and barely moving in the water. The expedition leader reached over the side of the raft an lifted the wet and shivering dog into the boat.
Molly moved closer to the dog. Tears formed in her eyes. “Jess, are you okay? You’ve got to be okay. Help her, please.” Molly turned to the leader and pleaded for help.
The leader directed the boat to the side of the river where they got out of the raft. He lifted the dog to the ground and toweled her fur off until she was almost dry. He lit a fire and placed the dog close enough to the embers to get warm but far enough away to keep from burning herself.
The group then waited. It wasn’t long until another raft came churning down the river. It came into shore and Santa was helped out and led over to the fire. He sat down beside the fire to dry himself off. The dog slowly rose, licked his face and pushed her body close to his. Her tail thumped on the ground.
Molly wiped tears from her eyes. “You’re both all right then? I don’t know what I’d do without either of you.” She hugged Santa and Jessie with a big bear hug, picked up a heavy blanket and covered them up.
“We’re fine Molly. Stupid of me really. I should have let the paddle go. If I had I wouldn’t have fallen in and Jessie wouldn’t have jumped in. We’re lucky the expedition leader’s were able to help us.” Santa turned to the leader. “Thank-you for saving our lives. There will be a little something special for you at Christmas.” He laughed a belly laugh and pulled the blanket closer around him warming his hands by he flame.
Jessie wagged her tail and sighed contentedly. A returned friend and a warm belly. What more could a dog ask for?