Follow The Stir


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

by Jeanne Sager on November 26, 2012 at 11:20 AM

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.

More from The Stir: Sneezing Attack Kills Mom & Injuries Toddler Out For a Drive

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

Filed Under: animals, death, accidents


  • Sierr...


    November 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM
    It's tragic. That's about all I have to say.
  • Vegeta


    November 26, 2012 at 12:23 PM
    There must be more to this story. And anyway they didn't jump in expecting to die, just to grab the dog and come back. If my dog got pulled into the ocean I'd go after him every time, as he cant swim. I dont think any dog owner would stand there watching the tide pull their pet out to sea and go 'well I guess spike was fun while we had him'.
  • Frank...
    -- Nonmember comment from


    November 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM
    According to news sources the couple didn't drown trying to save the dog. The son went in to save the dog and the father went in when he couldn't see his son. The son was able to get out, but he and his mom both went in when they couldn't see the father/husband. Tragic, but shows the love that the parents had for their son and the love the son had for his dog and father.
  • Lilac
    -- Nonmember comment from


    November 26, 2012 at 12:37 PM
    How about actually reporting the facts? Get the story straight Stir. The 16 year old son was playing with his dog when the dog was swept away. The teenage went in after his dog and the father tried to save there son NOT the dog. The son apparently made it to the beach but went back in the water trying to find the father and so did the mother. Mom and dad's bodies have been found the body of the 16 year old has not been found.
  • gabi
    -- Nonmember comment from


    November 26, 2012 at 2:25 PM
    Yes according to other news sources, the son ran in after the dog, then the father went in after his son, and finally the mom went in after her husband. I can only imagine if it was my 16 year old, I'd run in after her. One thing is certain, it is such a tragedy and my prayers are with the survivng daughter and any other extended family. The last thing they need is negative press laying blame on those who have died. Tragedies happen, and healing is what comes next.
  • solid
    -- Nonmember comment from


    November 26, 2012 at 3:50 PM
    That's the problem with society too many people would die for their pets. Why not save something that's worth saving like a human.
  • nicky
    -- Nonmember comment from


    November 26, 2012 at 4:04 PM
    My dogs are my children regardless of the situation.
  • kaerae
    -- Nonmember comment from


    November 26, 2012 at 4:24 PM
    Good grace, you need a fact-checker. Only the teen ran after his dog, he's a kid, they don't always make the best choices. The parents went in TO TRY TO RESCUE THEIR CHILD, NOT THE DAMN DOG!!!
  • jinkies
    -- Nonmember comment from


    November 26, 2012 at 4:25 PM
    On the plus side, at least there aren't any pics of Jeanne's kid in this one...finally!
  • Valor...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Valorie Jacobsen Lovelace

    November 26, 2012 at 5:33 PM
    Have a heart. Please consider that friends and family of these people may be reading your post, and don't be so quick to judge. You weren't there, you don't really know.
1-10 of 34 comments

To leave a comment, log in as a CafeMom member:

Log In

OR, use our non-member comment form: