Charlie Head was in the middle of a 600-mile paddleboarding trip on the North Sea in England Monday morning when he spotted a Shih Tzu alone and shivering on some rocks, surrounded by water.
The tide was rising, and soon the little dog would be submerged.
“He just sat there like a little dude, wondering what the hell to do,” Head says in a video he captured of the rescue via a camera in his helmet.
“He definitely needs a rescue.”
Head, a water-sports instructor, made his way to the terrified dog and, after some gentle encouragement, was able to get him onto his board.
“I was gobsmacked,” Head told KentOnline. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought there is no chance it could have got there on its own, and the tide was coming in.”
Head told the Daily Mail, “It is incredible that he was able to get out there – this is not a big, tough dog. It is the sort of animal people carry around in their handbags.”
He paddled to shore and brought the dog, who was actually a female whose microchip identified as Bam Bam, to a Hampton pub. She was wrapped in warm towels and later taken to the Lord Whisky Sanctuary.
In a strangely similar dog-out-of-nowhere rescue last January, Roy O’Connor was kayaking in the Gulf of Mexico when he saved a Vizla who had run off and into the bay after his dog mom was hit by a car. Just like Head, O’Connor captured the rescue on video, via a camera attached to his kayak.
Today a Daily Mail commenter named G.W. claimed ownership of Bam Bam and explained what might have happened.
“Firstly, she wasn’t out there due to any cruelty,” G.W. wrote. “She was on a walk (I wasn’t present) and she slipped out of her collar and bolted. By the time that I was informed and had arrived, she was nowhere to be seen. There were many people out searching for her but because we had no idea what direction she had gone in, we had a large area to cover and obviously didn’t have much luck.
“…I thank Charlie from the bottom of my heart as without him my dog Molly (she was chipped with the name Bam Bam at her breeders) would not be alive right now. Molly was missing for two days and must have made her way out onto the rocks at low tide and had become trapped as the tide came in. She is now safe and well at home with her family (myself and my two children) and is no worse for wear.”
The Lord Whisky Sanctuary confirmed that the lucky Shih Tzu has been claimed. “We are pleased to report that she has now been reunited with her relieved owners,” according to the shelter website. “Thank you to everyone who has contacted us to offer her a home.”
Here is Head’s video of the rescue: