Blind dog, Norman, rescues drowning girl

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One Monday morning in July 1996, 14-year-old Lisa Nibley and her younger brother, Joe, were swimming in the Necanicum River in coastal northern Oregon when they were caught in the rising tide.

Joe was able to scramble onto shore, but Lisa was caught in the tide and carried further and further away from the shore. She struggled against the powerful current, but kept going under. Then she prayed to God for help.

On the beach, Annette McDonald was walking Norman, a blind, yellow Labrador retriever whom she and her husband, Steve, had rescued from a dog pound. Abandoned by his original owner, Norman was only two days from being euthanized.

Annette said it was unusual for her to walk Norman that morning, but something “came over her”.

While walking on the beach, Norman suddenly ran toward the sea, having heard Lisa’s cries for help.

Altogether, the dog bolted 150 yards straight into the water.

Then Norman hesitated because Lisa, weak from her struggles, had stopped screaming.

So Annette yelled to Lisa to call out to Norman.

Using his hearing, Norman, the blind dog, made his way to Lisa and towed her back to shore.

Lisa’s grateful parents, Jeff and Elaine Nibley, tried to raise money for surgery to help Norman’s blindness.

Sadly, Dr. Grant Maurer, a veterinary ophthalmologist at the Animal Eye Clinic in Tigard, OR, determined that Norman had a genetic disease that cannot be cured with surgery. (AP)

H/t Kelleigh

See also these other heroic “creatures-without-sin” (St. Bonaventure):


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16 responses to “Blind dog, Norman, rescues drowning girl

  1. This definitely goes to the idea of animal saints. ♥

  2. Kelleigh Nelson

    I just love these 4 legged God given creatures…they’re angels

  3. It is rather miraculous that Norman was saved from certain death while in the dog shelter. Then at a future date, being responsible for saving the young girl’s life shows that Our God knows the future, and at times brings occurrences into play that will be instrumental in fulfilling future events.

    I am so grateful for the blessings and the wonderful gift that these creatures, who are without sin, bring to my life, and those of others.

  4. Good job Norman!

  5. Aren’t they absolutely wonderful!

    • In my book there is nothing more wonderful than a dog. I’ve loved each and every one of mine. We have two cats too, but a dog is totally without guile.

      • Lophatt . . . . I certainly do agree with you. I have a cat, and I do love her, but I would give my eye teeth to get another dog. Somehow dogs are just different

  6. The dog not only is man’s best friend, the dog is the best friend any species could ever have. They teach us many things–patience, loyalty, perseverance, nobility without arrogance, selfless bravery. But most of all, they teach us unconditional love, a mirror of God’s love for us. I hope one day to become the man my dogs think I am. God bless Norman.

    • Grif . . . . What an eloquent comment on dogs. I must agree whole heartedly.

    • However, as much as I agree with everyone, I’m concerned that we don’t know if Norman was allowed to live or did they go ahead and have him killed because he was blind? After I worked for a wonderful local veterinarian, Doc Holliday, at Eastgate Veterinary Hospital in Bellevue, WA, 1959-1960, I came to loathe the word “euthanised”, as I’d seen too many brought in to be killed who were not that badly off or terminal, it seemed to me. And I know it troubled Doc Holliday.

      • The McDonalds adopted Norman from the pound, knowing he was blind, 2 days before the dog would have been euthanized. It makes no sense that the McDonalds would later then have Norman killed.

  7. That’s why “dog” is God spelled backwards.

    • Loved that, Lo!

      I was once saved from a rattlesnake in pitch darkness by a stray mama cat who’d been dumped and was hanging around our new home. I was cornered by the snake, whom I couldn’t see, but could hear…..I did not know where to step. Not a single glint of light helped me see……..I’ve told this story before here, but since all our burn-downs, I’ll give an abbreviated repeat: I prayed and prayed for guidance/deliverance after trying to hang clothes out on my clothes line during a wicked heat wave that took your breath away just to open the door to the outside ( so, I’d wait until dark to hang clothes out, and took them in come morning). But this one night I went out without turning on the porch light, and with no one home but me and my little kids, who were in bed.While hanging clothes, I heard the “whirring” of the rattlesnake very close to me, but did not know where or in what direction. All I could do was “freeze.” It was that old nightmare—-the spider or snake crawling on you or alongside you and you can’t MOVE lest they bite/strike. All I could do was freeze and pray. But for how long could I do this?????In answer to my prayers, that dumped mother cat came from out of nowhere & up over a 6-foot board fence and down to sit in front of my feet, “hunkering down” with ears back, facing in the direction of the snake. That’s the first I knew where it was. I just remained as motionless as possible and, after a while (a seeming eternity already!) this mama cat relaxed and sat up. I knew then that the snake had “backed down” and retreated into its own safety. When mama cat moved toward my porch, I followed her footsteps as exactly as I could. Of course, we kept and spayed this old tortoise-shell mama cat and found homes for her kittens. When I was a substitute teacher for many years before taking a full-time contract….if I had a really difficult bunch of kids, I’d settle them down and tell them this story of the stray mama cat who saved me in pitch darkness from the rattlesnake. It never failed……even with the toughest, rowdiest crowd, you could hear a PIN DROP by the end of this story.

      • Cal Girl . . . . No doubt about it, that cat was sent into your life before the time when her angelic ministrations would be needed on your behalf. It never ceases to amaze me just how loving and kind our Heavenly Father is to us, His children.

    • Lophatt . . . . That really was a superb observation.

  8. Here Here! Applause, Auntie!


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