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.
See also these other heroic “creatures-without-sin” (St. Bonaventure):
- 3-year-old boy kept alive by wild bear in freezing rain
- 7 animals who saved humans
- Hero dog, beaten and shot, protects boy from home invaders
- Puppy ‘took the bullet’ to protect woman from rattlesnake
- Dog saves her injured human from freezing to death
- Homeless dog rescues woman from car wreck
- Homeless dog saves life of 3-year-old girl
- Wild elks use their body heat to save boy from hypothermia
- Cat protects 5-year-old boy from bullies
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