Dogs can save lives. After proper training, they can learn to be service dogs or even work for police canine units. Occasionally, dogs will shock us with the incredible things that they’re capable of doing. These times show us how unbelievable dogs’ instincts truly are. Take, for example, what happened to this man from New York, and his dog.
Mark Freely is from East Setauket, New York, and is a personal injury lawyer. He also loves animals. He lives with his two dogs – an English golden retriever, Storm, and a border collie, Sarah. He also has a rabbit named Speedo. Even though he loves all of his animals equally, Storm has his heart. He was there for Sarah when she was settling in, and he even lets Speedo hang out on his back. His gentleness tends to get him in a bit of trouble, though.
Mark not only does pro bono work for a local animal rescue, he also regularly fosters dogs! In just the last month, Mark has fostered a few puppies. Storm did a great job with the puppies, maybe too great. The puppies quickly learned that they could use Storm as their plaything. They climbed all over him and even nipped at his ears. But none of that seemed to bother Storm. Mark wished he was always that easy going.
After Mark adopted Sarah, he figured it would be the perfect time to teach them both how to fetch. Sarah absolutely loved it and learned very quickly. Storm, on the other hand, was not impressed. It didn’t matter if Mark threw a ball, or a stick, Storm refused to fetch. It was possible that it just wasn’t in Storm’s nature, even though he was a golden retriever. Mark never guessed his instincts would kick in at the most important time.
On thing Storm and Sarah have in common is their love of strolling along Port Jefferson Harbor. Mark thinks they enjoy that particular route because they like the sight of the boats that are sailing in and out of the harbor. Even though he tries to walk them as much as possible, sometimes he’s so busy he can only do it on the weekends. One weekend, in particular, Storm completely surprised Mark.
It was a hot day in the middle of July. Despite the heat, Sarah and Storm were a bit antsy and wanted to go for their walk. Luckily it was breezy enough to keep them refreshed during their walk. The took their familiar route and were able to watch the waves as they crashed onto the shore. Little did they know that their beautiful afternoon was about to get crazy.
Mark noticed that Storm was suddenly running towards the water. He was a bit surprised, but figured the dog was just too hot. The summer in New York can sometimes be overwhelming, especially for a furry fella like Storm. Because he had never done it before, Mark was curious. It wasn’t long before he realized what Storm was doing.
Storm was not trying to refresh himself. He was actually swimming towards something. Mark couldn’t figure out what the bobbing object was in the water. He figured maybe it was just a dead fish. Storm loved to eat, and would certainly not turn down some delicious fish. But Mark was concerned he would get sick if the fish was rotten. Boy, was he in for a huge surprise.
As Storm got closer to the shore, he was hauling the unknown object in his mouth. It no longer looked like a fish and Mark had hoped it wasn’t a nasty piece of garbage. Storm finally made it to the shore and Mark couldn’t believe what it was that he had. Storm was dragging a baby deer! Storm gently placed it on the sand, but it wasn’t moving. Mark believed the deer was dead.
Storm refused to give up, though. He softly nudged the baby deer with his nose, pawed at him, and even licked around its neck. Mark was finally able to detect a faint shaking in the deer. The deer was alive! Alive, but in shock. Mark headed back to the car to call for help, while Storm stayed by the fawn’s side. Mark wasn’t sure if the deer would survive, but Storm’s persistence gave him hope.
Mark got in touch with the Strong Island Animal Rescue League. The director, Frankie Floridia, and his partner, Erica Kutzing, arrived shortly with leashes and nets. At that time, because of Storm’s care, the fawn remained alert, and was able to wobble on his tiny legs. All of a sudden, he darted back towards the water.
“They are animals of flight; they are going to take off wherever they can go,” explained Mr. Floridia in an interview. “In a yard, they will smash through a wooden fence.” It was obvious that the deer had been taken by surprise at the appearance of three humans and two dogs, even though one of those dogs saved his life. Storm took no offense, though, and ran after the startled deer.
After taking off his shirt, Mr. Floridia followed Storm into the water. The deer was paddling frantically, but he didn’t make it more than 240 feet before Floridia grabbed him. Pulling him out of the water wasn’t an easy task, and resulted in a knee injury for Mr. Floridia. Despite that, Mr. Florida was smiling from ear-to-ear as he handed the deer over to Ms. Kutzing. They were going to make sure that deer survived!
The baby deer wouldn’t stop trying to escape as Ms. Kutzing carried him to her van. After placing him on a dry towel, the fawn began to relax. They discovered that he was a white-tailed deer, approximately 3 months old, and had probably fallen off a cliff. He only survived because of Storm! He was a hero, but the tiny fawn still had some recovering to do.
Floridia and Kutzing then brought the deer to Save The Animals Rescue Foundation. After being treated with antibiotics and baby goat formula, a few days later the fawn was in stable condition. As a result of the fall, the fawn had head injuries and a closed eye. He also had subcutaneous emphysema and would need plenty of care before being able to be released back into the wild. His rescuer would soon become a hero to the world of social media.
Mark posted the video of Storm’s daring rescue on his Facebook page, which soon got more than 5.2 million views. Shortly after, Mark was contacted by morning shows and New York newspapers. They all wanted to meet Storm and talk about his act of heroism. Mark was more than proud of his good pup. “It was so touching,” Mark said. “It showed he really had a care and was worried about the fawn.”