Blind Dog Saves Drowning Girl – It’s A Miracle
If it wasn’t for the courageous, even miraculous act of a yellow Labrador Retriever named Norman, Lisa might not be alive today.
In 1993 Annette McDonald of Seaside, Oregon rescued Norman from an animal shelter when he was just a year old abandoned by his original owners. He had already been held
two days longer than usual and was scheduled to be put to sleep the very next morning but Annette sensed there was something special about the dog-
– I knew I wanted to get Norman right away: Norman started barking at us like he knew he was supposed to go with us – told us Annette
Not long after Annette brought Norman home she realized that something was terribly wrong with him: Norman was losing his eyesight. The veterinarian diagnosed his problem as retinal atrophy, and there was no cure. Within months Norman lost his sight completely, but Norman took his blindness in stride really well, he was still the same happy enthusiastic dog that everybody loved. The blindness limited Norman’s mobility, but on the open beach near the McDonald’s home he could still run free.
The nearby river is a tidal estuary, its outlet to the Pacific, is a trickle at low tide but when the tide comes in it fills up.
One day in July 1996, 15-year-old Lisa and her younger brother Joe arrived to spend the vacation. They had visited this Beach every summer for the past three years and both were excellent swimmers and their parents trusted they could handle themselves in the waters. But that day the tide was changing and as the cold ocean water rushed upstream Lisa and Joe found themselves pulled in the deeper and deeper water, because current started to form, and it got deeper and Lisa got pushed away from her brother.
Their playful shouts soon turned to screams of terror, cries that no one could possibly hear. The current pulled her under, and she tried to swim against the current to
get back and got exhausted.
John made it to safety on an opposite shore and watched helplessly as a powerful current carried Lisa upstream. She kept going under and then get back up and scream.
– I remember actually I did say a prayer to God and I ask him please don’t let this happen to me – told us Lisa
Meanwhile Annette McDonald was bringing Norman down to the beach from her nearby
home but it was very unusual for them to be there at that time of day. It was
Monday morning and she didn’t want to go to work, so her husband Steve told her to
stay home and she was just about ready to sit down and read a book and for some
reason she looked at Norman and said “ok let’s go for a walk”, all of a sudden he
cocked his head and started barreling down the beach. She’d never seen him
run like that before: the blind dog raced over 150 yards down the beach over the
roar of the water: he had heard something that no human ear could detect. Guided by Lisa’s voice Norman fearless lead paddled straight toward the drowning girl. But when she stops screaming Norman lost his bearings. Lisa strength was gone and she began to
be swept away. She wasn’t breathing well and got really weak.
Annette desperately yelled out to her, telling her to call Norman’s name
Norman didn’t stop looking for her until finally Lisa managed to call his name. Norman found her and Lisa managed to grab onto him, and he towed her back toward the sound of Annette’s voice and safety.
Norman ‘s heroism made the news, and even People Magazine put Lisa and Norman on their cover, but to those close to him Norman is much more than just a blind hero, is a guardian angel.