Daily fishing trips can be hard work. You often need to wake up early, get everything prepped, then stay out as late possible fighting exhaustion. Those who do it for a living are some of the most passionate and compassionate people you’ll ever meet. For these three fishing friends, their daily trip turned into an incredible rescue mission. When they spotted something on top of a lone iceberg, they didn’t know what it was, but they knew they needed to act.
It Started With A Boat
Mallory Harrigan, Cliff Russell, and Allan Russell always loved going fishing together. The trio loved it so much that they even bought a boat together to start their own commercial fishing business.
Living in Canada, they knew what kind of fish they could catch and what the local markets and restaurants would be interested in buying. What they didn’t know was what to expect when they began hitting the waters everyday in hopes of a good haul.
More Than Just A Business
Cliff, Mallory, and Allan were more than just business partners. They were friends, and they would help each other during the longest days and hardest times. Their new business could have tested that friendship, but it never did.
Everyday, after hours on the sea, they would come home with new bumps and bruises on their bodies. No one would complain, and no one would would quit. They loved each other and were always excited to show up for the job the next day.
That Fateful Morning
On the morning that would change these friends’ lives forever, Mallory was especially excited. She didn’t know what fate had planned, but she had a good feeling about something and showed up early to prep the boat.
Once everyone was there, the trio went through their pre-launch check off list. It was imperative they have everything they needed with them on the boat. Having to travel back to shore after launching would cost them hours on the water.
Prepping the boat was the easy part. They liked to pass the time telling jokes and and stories. They may have been old friends, but every morning felt like a 10-year reunion.
The next part can be described as “the calm before the storm.” The water was calm as usual as the boat headed a few miles off the Canadian coast. They knew the perfect spot to catch crab off of the Canadian coast.
Letting Out Their Lines
Once they reached their destination, the friends turned off the boat engine and let it idle. This spot was perfect and was always full of crabs. They dropped their lines and let the cages drag on the sea floor.
It was the end of crab season, and while the previous weeks had been fruitful, they were hoping to go out with a bang. Since starting their business, this had been their most successful year. Would this be their most successful catch?
The First Catch Was A Sign Of Things To Come
With the cages in the water, one of them steered the boat while the other two manned the lines, making sure they didn’t tangle. They knew this routine like the back of their hands.
As the first cages came up they couldn’t believe it. Their spot had paid off again and it looked like today was going to be their best day ever. They high-fived in celebration, emptied the cages, the prepared to do it all over again.
Moving To A New Spot
The day was going great. Allan, Cliff, and Mallory knew they had a chance to break their crabbing record. Finished at the first location, they turned the boat back on and set off for colder waters.
The further they got, they more dangerous things got. Colonies of seals could be seen resting on icebergs. Birds were nowhere in sight. But as beautiful and serene as the scene was, it was also filled with hidden dangers and surprises.
Iceberg, Straight Ahead!
Huge icebergs floated freely in the Labrador Sea. This was not the place to go on autopilot when fishing. One wrong turn could turn this fishing trip into the groups last.
Allan was on lookout duty when he spotted something in the distance on top of an iceberg. He pointed in out to Cliff and Mallory. No one could make out what the shape was. Mallory thought it was probably a seal sun bathing away from the colony.
Allan Couldn’t Let Sleeping Seals Lay
Cliff fell in line with Mallory’s theory. During their adventures together they had seen plenty of animals pop up in the ice waters from time to time. It wasn’t anything strange, so why was Allan acting so weird about it?
He probably couldn’t tell you why, but he did know something about what was on that iceberg kept eating away at him. He told his friends that it didn’t move around like a seal and he was skeptical. They looked through their binoculars and couldn’t help but agree.
Even though they knew they needed to keep fishing, curiosity got the best of the group. They couldn’t take their attention away from whatever was stranded alone on an iceberg. They decided to move in closer.
As the boat got closer, the wind picked up along with the chill in the air. Then they noticed there was fur on the animal. Even scarier, the fur was wet. The poor animal must have been freezing! They decided until they knew what they were dealing with, their fishing expedition was on hold.
The friends approached cautiously in the boat. Not only did they not know what kind of animal they might have found, but they were going off-course and venturing into unexplored waters. Allan was convinced they were doing the right thing.
Cliff and Mallory weren’t as sure as Allan was, but the friends agreed that they needed to investigate the situation. If it was an animal in danger, then they needed to rescue it. They couldn’t live with leaving it to die on their consciences!
A Slow Approach
The boat moved through the water slowly. The friends watched over the sides of the boat for any unexpected dangers. Any large chunk of floating ice could damage the boat and the last thing they needed was to strand themselves.
The waves had picked up, too, making the boat move more than usual. Mallory urged the group to be extra careful. They may have been excited about what they were doing, but they still needed to keep their wits about them.
Choppy Waters And Wind Picked Up
Without warning, a strong gust of wind rattled through the area. This made navigation even harder. Even scarier for the group, this unexpected windy whipping made the iceberg move. How would the animal react?
Now that group had more than just ice to worry about. They were terrified the scared animal would jump off the iceberg from fear. Mallory kept her eyes glued to the animal. If the boat could just get a little closer she’d be able to identify what they were dealing with.
Chasing The Iceberg
The situation had taken a dangerous turn now that the team was forced to chase the iceberg. They weren’t just concerned with their safety, but also the safety of whatever was pacing back and forth on the iceberg.
They had to move fast to keep the boat near the iceberg. At the same time, they needed to remain cautious about the water surrounding them. Making matters worse, the day was half over and they would start running out of daylight soon!
The Animal Began Taking Shape
They finally got close enough to the creature to start figuring out what it might be. They could see it had four legs and looked similar to a dog. There was no way this was someone’s lost pet, though.
As they predicted, the poor animal was soaked with cold water and was shivering uncontrollably. Allan, Cliff, and Mallory knew at this moment that they needed to do everything they could to save this animal, even if it meant putting themselves in more danger.
The Animal Identified!
After a few moments of disbelief, the friends realized they were staring at an Arctic fox! They didn’t have time to figure out how it may have stranded itself. It was weak and there were birds starting to circle above it.
Not only was the fox in danger of freezing to death, but other animals were getting excited about their next meal. The friends jumped into action, desperate to make sure the little Arctic fox lived to see another day.
A Dangerous Rescue
With time running out, the group needed to work together to come up with a plan to save the fox. There wasn’t a lot of time, and there was still one big question that needed to be answered.
Would the fox even trust humans with its life? There’s no way of knowing how much contact this wild dog had previously had with humans. That meant despite their best intentions, there was a real possibility that they wouldn’t be able to help.
Cliff, Mallory, and Allan needed a plan to lure the fox to them. First, they tried speaking quietly and holding out their hands to see if the scared dog would come to the safety of their arms.
The fox’s first instinct was to run away. Of course, it had nowhere to go and ended up just staring at the strange humans trying to save it. It refused to jump to them, and they refused to leave.
Patience Is A Virtue
The waiting game was on. The fox showed no interest in the three friends. They continued to show interest in it though and they decided the best game to play was the long game.
Their patience was being tested, but they refused to give up. Finally, just as they were about to break, the fox stepped toward the boat. Would it take a leap of faith? Putting its trust in the hands of humans was looking like the only way to survive.
The fox got as close as it could to the boat. It wasn’t strong enough to jump aboard however and looked to Allen for help. He gently picked it up and placed it on the boat.
Things still weren’t alright. Allan and Cliff grabbed towels to dry the fox and keep it warm but were hesitant to handle the scared creature. One wrong move and it could attack. How long was this fox’s trust going to last?
An Escape Attempt
Scared to death, the fox decided it made the wrong choice and jumped out of the boat without warning. Everyone was stunned as the wild animal raced in the water to get back to the iceberg.
The friends followed the fox until it ran out of energy. Allan gently picked it back up and placed it in the boat again. It scurried to a corner and stayed there, terrified of the situation it was in.
Back From The Brink
This time the team was going to make sure the Arctic fox couldn’t get away. While Mallory was busy steering the ship back home, Allan and Cliff watched intently and waited for their moment to approach.
They knew if they couldn’t warm the fox back up its body would go into shock. They looked around the boat, trying to find anything to make the little guy warmer and more comfortable. They never took their eyes off the animal, though.
A Warm Place To Rest
From behind the steering wheel, Mallory suggested that they find a way to give the fox warmer accommodations. Cliff and Allan could only find sawdust, which they thought they could use for filled as bedding.
While collecting the sawdust, they found a plastic bin to put it in. This would make a great bed frame! They packed sawdust into the bin, hoping it would act as insulation, then placed it in an area on the boat with the most sun.
Getting The Fox In Bed
Allan, who up to this point was the de facto animal handler, picked up the Arctic fox and placed it in the bin. In a matter of seconds, the exhausted fox was sound asleep.
While it was recuperating, the team continued to get back to the Canadian shore as quickly as possible. The fox was okay for now, but surely needed medical attention to make sure it would survive long term.
No Rest For The Tired
Still about 30 minutes from shore, Cliff took over driving duties from Mallory. He changed course, knowing they might not have 30 minutes. Then he hit a wave and the fox woke up.
It stared up from the bin, terrified and exhausted. Looking to calm the fox back down, Mallory suggested trying to feed it. Surely they could spare some of their fresh catch. A good meal could do wonders for the animal, if it was willing to take food from humans.
All Turf, No Surf
The fox was dry now, and the bin had indeed helped warm it up. Mallory offered the fox some fish and crab but it looked away, disinterested. There had to be something it would eat?
Mallory decided to look in the crews personal food supply. She found some Vienna sausages, which she soaked in water and put in a bowl in front of the fox. It sniffed the food, then scarfed it down like a ravenous animal. This was its first meal of the day, and possibly more.
Coming Back To Shore
The fox fell back to sleep after eating its meal. Shortly after, the boat began docking at shore. The noise ended up waking the fox back up. Mallory stayed near it, trying to keep it calm with the storm of noise around it.
Mallory spoke softly the to the fox. It wouldn’t be able to understand what she was saying, but maybe her voice would help soothe it. She just needed to keep it calm until they were done docking.
Finding The Fox A Home
Safely ashore, the next decision the friends had to make was what to do with the fox. It was warm, dry, and fed, making this the last big thing to do.
True to her character, Mallory came up with the answer. She remembered there was an area near the docks that would be perfect to release the fox back into the wild. There would be no imminent danger and they could watch it safely reintegrate to its natural habitat.
A Room With A View
Not only was the fox’s new location safe for it to re-enter the wild; it was equipped with a makeshift dog house! The structure was 10 minutes from the dock and very remote.
They searched the area for the dog house. They knew it was located on the bluffs, but were uncertain of its exact location. Cliff carried the fox the whole way, doing his part to keep it safe while the friends finished their rescue mission.
A Successful Rescue
It took a bit of time, but the friends found the fox a house. As they had done all day, they left the fox as much to its own decisions as possible. They placed the bin near the house and waited.
The arctic fox stepped out of the bin, shook itself off, and walked to the house. It sat down at the entrance and looked over its new home. At this moment, Mallory, Cliff, and Allan all knew they had done something amazing.
A Man Thought He Saw A Distressed Beaver In The Mud, But What He Actually Found Would Change His Life Forever
It’s very easy to have a soft spot for animals. They are genuinely pure and very easy to root for when things aren’t going their way. This story has a little bit of everything. You’re going to need to prepare yourself for an adventure that will take you down every emotional path.
It’s sad, yet inspiring. It’s happy, yet disheartening. If you’re wondering how that’s even possible, you’re about to find out. It’s a story about a man’s genuine love for animals and the lengths he’s willing to go to show it.
A Day That Started With Routine
It was a day that would change Jim Passmore’s life forever. It was a day that he’ll never forget. It was a day that started like any other.
He’s a native of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and loves to take walks. It was a crisp March morning, and he did what he always did — bring his dogs with him for a casual stroll through the forest. But, it wasn’t going to be like any other stroll.
Jim loves nature, and he’s lucky enough to have a lot of it in Broken Arrow. He’s always been someone who can truly enjoy nature and all it has to offer. Rolling hills, crystal blue lakes, and some of the most beautiful vistas were everyday sights for these folks.
There are very few things he loves more than wildlife and scenic walks, but his dogs are definitely on that list. He loves dogs more than anything.
Out For A Walk
The trio — Jim and his two dogs — would frequent the same walking path regularly. However, Jim noticed something odd in the creek one day when he was taking a stroll.
He got closer, but it was incredibly hard to see exactly what they were looking at. It looked like a log floating out in the water. But as he took a better look at it, he could see some hair.
Some Animal Had Been Trapped
It looked like some type of animal had been trapped in the mud. Jim wasn’t sure, so he got a little bit closer and he could see something struggling. It looked weak, but whatever it was had been stuck in the mud near the creek’s bank.
Jim usually walks around the creek for a half hour a day, but on this day he was going to be there a lot longer than that.
Jim’s Dogs Weren’t Having It
As Jim approached the mystery mound, he noticed that his dogs began to start acting weird. These are two pups that have been acclimated to the area many times, so this was especially strange.
The dogs began to growl a deep, visceral growl. His dogs wouldn’t let him walk closer to the mound. They seemed to be protecting him from something, but he didn’t know what. His dogs started retreating from the scene.
The Stunning Find
He followed his intuition and pressed onward to figure out what was floating. First, he noticed an animal cage. Okay, that was weird, but it could help figure out what this animal was.
Jim’s first thought was that it was a beaver. That would make sense. I mean, beaver’s float in the water all the time. Surely it’s just minding its own business and doing its own thing. But, the cage made that claim seem odd.
What He Found Gave Him Shivers
The cage looked like something you would transport animals in. So he peered inside of it to see if he could garner any more information about what the cage could’ve housed.
Maybe the beaver was using the cage as shelter, or maybe it was a few groundhogs using an abandoned cage as their home. The scenarios kept running through Jim’s head. But, that wasn’t the case at all. What Jim saw sent shivers through his spine.
It Was On Purpose
There were feces all over the ground of the cage. Jim also found a blanket that was incredibly dirty, and a weighted chain. This was the moment that Jim knew something wasn’t right.
Someone had purposely done this. Someone had chained an animal to this cage and now it wasn’t there. He saw a whole bunch of weird markings on the cage. There was a huge bite on the side of it.
Maybe It Was A Beaver?
Oddly enough, a beaver came out of the woods and startled Jim. So, he followed the beaver to the riverbed and it finally came to a halt.
He had no idea what he was doing, following the beaver, but he felt like he needed to do it. Just a couple of feet away from the beaver there was a struggling animal. It was the same mound that Jim had seen earlier.
Jim Followed His Gut
The dampness of the woods and the ground had become increasingly soft. Jim ventured forward and quickly saw that the animal was bigger than a beaver. It couldn’t be a beaver.
The large creature seemed to be stuck in the mud and without thinking, Jim sprung into action. He had to help the poor critter out, but one thing kept playing in his mind — he still had no idea what this thing was.
He Was Going To Get It Out
Whatever it was, Jim was certain that he was going to get it out. He couldn’t bear to leave a struggling animal fighting for its life.
Jim figured that if this was, in fact, a beaver, it would be incredibly territorial. While his gut feeling told him that it probably wasn’t a giant beaver, he still needed to be aware of those teeth just in case it decided to get free and chomp him like a salad.
Could It Be Rabid?
Beavers usually bite humans when they have rabies too, so this whole situation could go from hero to zero very quick. Jim called over a few people to help him, and one of them ended up getting bit.
They rushed him to the hospital, but the rest of the team ended up staying put to try to get this animal out of the mud. Jim had to come up with a plan to avoid getting attacked again.
It Was Their Only Option
Jim realized that he had to cover the animal’s head. He had no idea how long it had been in the creek for and it was surely alarmed by the number of people trying to get it out.
It quickly calmed down after the jersey was placed over its head. I mean, not going to lie, I would be freaking out even more if my vision was suddenly gone, but good for the animal.
They Needed A Plan
Jim needed a plan that could hoist the animal out of the water. They tried to dig around it, but since the animal was half submerged in the mud, it was incredibly difficult.
They needed a pulley system or some sort of crane. Unfortunately, there wasn’t going to be a crane any time soon, so they would have to go with the pulley. They quickly realized there was a flaw, though.
The Plan Finally Worked
The mystery animal was refusing to budge. It seemed like it was truly stuck and had no plans of wanting to be free. But, they kept trying and eventually, they started to feel it getting looser.
This gave them a new sense of will to try even harder. They gave it one final yank, and the “beaver” was lifted to safety. But, as Jim wiped the animal’s face, he stumbled backward.
This Was No Beaver
This was no giant beaver. This was no giant groundhog. This was a dog. Beneath the mud was a quivering, yet beautiful sheepdog. They weren’t messing with a territorial beaver, they were dealing with a scared dog.
It looked like the dog had been there for quite some time, but was in relatively good shape considering all of the stuff that seemed to happen to it. So, how did it get there?
The Beaver Sidekick?
Jim called the police, and they were quick to the scene. What was so bizarre to Jim about this whole situation was that he was led to the dog by the actual beaver he met near the cage.
Was this dog being taken care of by the beaver? I mean, obviously, there isn’t much a beaver can do for a dog, but it’s cool to have a fantasy that they were buddies.
They Had A Main Priority
The more time the guys spent with the dog, the more they realized that it was in really poor condition. The dog was responsive at least a little bit.
The main priority was to keep the dog warm and comfortable. They would come to know the dog as Teddy. And by putting a blanket over it, they felt like Teddy was only going to get better in terms of his immediate health.
He Couldn’t Walk
They knew that they had to get him to some professional treatment fast. But, Teddy was in no shape to be able to just wander or walk by himself.
They decided to use the resources that they had around them and grabbed a wheelbarrow. They weren’t about to go and rushed back to their car. Teddy was obviously tired from the exhausting experience of constantly trying to get air while being stuck in the mud.
They Pooled Their Resources
Jim dialed up the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals and the team worked quickly to get Teddy into their care. The team was warned that they would have their work cut out for them.
Teddy was still unreceptive to humans, and while the way that he ended up in the creek is unknown, there are credible theories. One theory was that he got hit by
The Scenarios Were Sickening
Another was that his owner didn’t want him any longer so he brought him out in a cage and tried to drown him. Jim couldn’t stop thinking about the single blanket and weight that he found in the dog’s cage.
They landed on the name Teddy because of his cuddly appearance. They would have to work on Teddy actually trusting humans again in order for him to act cuddly, but it was a work in progress.
The Dog Had Nine Lives
Teddy was a dog with multiple lives. He got lucky. The situation that he was put in was horrible. He had to fight for his life for a long period of time. But, the chances of someone actually finding him and taking the time to save him was incredible.
Also, he was very lucky that the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals took him in. They were able to find a place for him to stay instead of a shelter.
The Rescue Could’ve Resulted In Death
If a shelter had received the call for help, they probably would’ve euthanized him. Teddy ended up receiving the vet care that he needed. He was finally in
In a panic, Teddy had bitten one of the people trying to save him. There was some concern that he might have rabies. After some thorough testing, it was determined that Teddy didn’t have any rabies which was a relief.
It Was Taking Some Time
It took a couple of days for Teddy to fully get used to his pen at the OAA. Eventually, he warmed up to the workers. They administered pain medication that also helped him come back to a state of ease.
After some more testing, they realized that he was probably in a lot of pain which is why the medication was necessary. But, there was still a major problem that needed to be fixed.
His Biggest Hurdle
Teddy’s vet chalked up his inability to gracefully move around as a reason to why he was unhealthy. He wasn’t very active for a dog and became severely overweight., which only added to the problems he was already facing.
Overweight dogs are prone to joint, ligament and bone problems, as well as internal organ dysfunction, high blood pressure, and diabetes. He was going to have an uphill battle to get back to health.
A Viral Sensation
But as Teddy’s story started to get slightly viral, his health started improving. He went from being a sluggish pup that was unfriendly and wanted to be left alone to
He really found a caring person in the receptionist at the OAA. Her name was Jessie. It was almost as if Teddy was excited he was finally getting famous. Well, doggy famous anyway, and probably not famous for the right reasons.
He Was A Senior Citizen
Teddy is a senior dog, and prospects for adoption for seniors are slimmer. Basically, despite the obvious drawbacks to adopting an older dog, there are some benefits.
For one, you know they’re not going to be getting any bigger. Two, their behavior isn’t going to change all that much. And three, they’re typically less likely to bite and can be docile and affectionate. They’re usually better for a young family.
But, thanks to the OAA, Teddy was in good hands. It’s very common for shelters to advertise their residents on social media. It’s a cheap way for shelters, which are often strapped for funding, to begin with, to promote themselves and the animals they care for.
The OAA actively campaigns to reduce the number of animals euthanized every year. They also give cheap spaying and neutering procedures to the public.
The Stats Are Haunting
In the United States, about six million animals are processed into the shelter system every single year. Of those, about three million are dogs. The sheer volume of strays presents a problem for many shelter spaces.
Mix the lack of space and the low adoption rates and you have a problem that really only has one solution. Shelters end up euthanizing about 700,000 dogs every single year which is incredibly sad.
Where Is He Now?
So, I know what you’re wondering. Where is he now? What is he doing and did he find a home? Well, the answer that I can give is probably not what you were looking for.
Teddy’s fate is actually unknown. Most likely he was adopted by someone who saw him on Facebook or read about him online. It’s hard to imagine that someone wouldn’t claim him. A dog this lucky couldn’t spend too much time in the shelter.