The Minnesota glacier has finally receded. So, with the sun peeking out and temps around 50, I took my daughter to a playground. The playground is in a suburb of the Twin Cities called Burnsville.
Alimagnet Park is the premier spot for local competitive baseball. Also, Alimagnet hosts an award winning dog park with a large off leash area featuring a 6 acre lake. Dogs regularly play fetch in the water.
When we arrived at the park, I could see the dog park had about 20 dogs running around of all sizes. I heard a single owner yelling at his dog over and over. However, I was busy watching my daughter having a good time playing and didn't initially pay any heed.
After 10 minutes of non-stop hearing " Come Ben, Come Ben" I walked over to look.
There was a guy in a red t-shirt. He was at the edge of the lake watching his dog in the water. The dog, I come to find out, had run out on his own into the water to chase ducks. The dog was still swimming, chasing the ducks in the lake.
Keep in mind, the lake had been ice covered the day before and still was 1/3 ice covered. I estimate the temp in the water to be around 40 degrees.
I watched and laughed as the dog swam across the lake from one side to another chasing the ducks. Watch out for those pesky mergansers. The ducks seemed to be playing with the dog by flying from one part of the lake to another. All this time the owner called to the dog to come but the dog ignored the owner.
I watched mesmerized at the scene. Other dog owners stopped to try to help. Some threw frisbees into the water. Others jingled treats to no avail.
At this point, I was worrying. The dog was cold, wet, and now exhausted. The owner sounded stressed and panicked. I surely didn't want to see the dog become fully exhausted and drown, but the mergansers had a spell on him. My mind also raced to stories of humans drowning while saving pets in water. I thought about calling the authorities.
What if the guy had a wife and kids he had to inform of their dead dog? While existed hope the dog would have saved itself, time was ticking.
Then came my idea.........
More after the fold.....
While watching the scene, I fumbled nervously with my keys. Then I remembered my Italian Ballila referee whistle I kept on my key ring. I am a former professional soccer referee. I keep the whistle on my key ring to remind me of my referee career. I never thought I might need it someday.
While watching my daughter I called out to the now distraught dog owner. The dog had been at least 50 minutes in the water.
I asked the guy if I could try my whistle. He said "I don't think it will work, but you can try."
As if I was going to call a penalty kick in front of 3000 hostile fans, I blew the whistle:
Tweet Tweet Tweet!
Immediately, the dog turned in our direction and headed towards the shore.
"You did it! How did you know?"
For good measure, I kept tweeting the whistle.
Toot toot toot
The dog kept coming.
toot toot toot
The dog swam to the shore where the owner grabbed his collar and got him on a leash.
Meanwhile, all the other dogs were now running towards me.
The owner pointed to me " God bless you, Thank you. I was panicking. God bless you."
The owner's voice was quivering.
I waved, smiled and drove my daughter home...... Felling good for a job well done........