Parents Drown Trying to Rescue the Dog They Should Have Never Gone After

dog at beach
Not the dog in question
I've always been one of those "dogs are part of the family" kind of people. My own two dogs are currently sleeping on my couch while I work. But the heartbreaking death of parents who drowned while trying to rescue their dog over the weekend in California is testing even my devotion to my pets.

The unidentified mother and father left at least one child orphaned, a daughter who called 911. Their 16-year-old son is also listed as missing, believed to have been sucked into the sea at the Big Lagoon beach north of Eureka as he too entered the water to rescue the pup. As for the dog?


He survived, making it back to shore on his own while his owners drowned.

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As a dog lover, I'm glad to hear he made it. As a human being, on the other hand, I'm having trouble making sense of this tragedy.

One adult going into the water after a dog makes sense. As I said, they are very much part of the family. But both adults? And the child?

The boy may be 16, but he is still a child. I can't help but wonder if someone shouldn't have stayed on the beach with him and his sister. Would that one parent have made the difference? Would they have been able to keep the boy from going into the water? Maybe been able to see what was going on from a safe vantage point and called their spouse back when it looked like it was too dangerous?

I don't mean to denigrate what these people did. I think we need to put value on the lives of our animals, and they clearly loved that dog. But if it came down to the life of my dog versus the life of my child, I'm not ashamed to admit that my daughter would come first. 

Have you ever had to face the possibility of saving an animal vs. keeping a family member safe? What happened?

Update: The AP reported at 2:46pm today that the dad went in after his son, who had gone in after their dog. The son surfaced but went back in, with his mom, to try to find his dad. The teenage son is still missing and both parents drowned.


Image via Public Domain Photos/Flickr

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