Being a professional fisherman isn’t easy. It involves long hours, with the need to get up early in the morning and often stay out on their boats until late in the evening, too. It’s also a very manual, physically intensive job, with a lot of moving around, lifting things, and using one’s muscles for all kinds of tasks. And if you happen to suffer from seasickness, the job is completely impossible.
But being a fisherman does have some perks. One of those perks is the ability to spend so much time out in the open air, breathing in the fresh sea breeze and admiring the wonderful views all around them. And sometimes, fishermen get to see things we could never imagine. That’s exactly what happened to this trio of fishermen after they discovered something totally unexpected on an iceberg one day.
Three Fishermen Friends
Our story begins with a trio of fishermen friends named Mallory Harrigan, Cliff Russell, and Allan Russell. The group always enjoyed fishing together and decided to turn their passion into a profession.
They bought a boat and decided to begin their own commercial fishing business in their home country of Canada. Canada’s waters are especially rich in all kinds of fish, but the trio had no idea that they were going to find something very different on one of their expeditions.
More Than A Job
For Cliff, Mallory, and Allan, going fishing wasn’t just a job; it was a passion that they’d always enjoyed, a symbol of the bonds of friendship that united them. They’d been friends for many years, and some people might have worried that the business could break them.
It didn’t. Even when they had to spend long days out on the water, feeling tired and bruised from a hard day’s labor when they headed home each night, the friendship between the group always stayed strong.
The Morning of the Big Day
Little did the three friends know that one day was going to change their lives forevermore. On that morning, Mallory was especially excited. She had a weird feeling that it was going to be a good day and arrived early to prepare the boat.
The others arrived shortly afterward, and the team started to go through their usual pre-launch checks. This was an essential part of their daily routine.
Off They Went
The preparation checks went smoothly, as they often did. The trio had been working together for a long time. They knew each other’s habits perfectly, and everything always seemed to go smoothly when they were together.
Once all the checks were complete, it was time for them to set sail. The waters were nice and calm, and the skies were clear as they sailed a few miles out from the Canadian coastline in search of crab.
Time to Fish
The trio knew the waters like the backs of their hands. They’d spent a lot of time searching around over the years to find the very best spots, and they arrived at one of their most profitable crab catching locations, ready to bring in some big ones.
They dropped their lines and lowered the crab cages down to the seafloor. It was the end of the crab season, and the group wanted to end it on a high, bringing in some huge catches.
The First Catch of the Day
When you do the same job day in and day out for a long time, it begins to become second nature. And that’s exactly how it was for the three fishermen.
They knew exactly what to do, with a pair of them manning the lines as the other steered the boat. When they reeled in their first catch, they were thrilled to see countless crabs inside the cages.
A New Spot
After hauling in a whole lot of crabs at the first fishing spot, the team decided to move on and try out another area. They set sail once again, heading off towards some of the frostier waters.
As they headed further out to sea, the conditions began to change and become more dangerous, with icebergs and surprises all around them, including one very special surprise they could never have predicted.
The fishermen were out in the Labrador Sea, which is filled with icebergs of all shapes and sizes. We all know what can happy if a ship hits an iceberg, so the group had to be very careful in those waters.
They could see seals all around, and Allan was looking out over the waters and icebergs when he spotted what seemed to be a seal sitting on a berg off in the distance. He pointed it out to the others.
Allan Has a Hunch
Allan wasn’t sure if the shape on the iceberg really was a seal. Cliff and Mallory both felt that it was, but Allan had a strange feeling about it. He just couldn’t let his hunch go.
He gave his binoculars to Cliff and Mallory, who both agreed that whatever the creature was, it was moving around quite strangely and didn’t seem to be behaving like a seal at all.
The trio needed to carry on fishing if they wanted to have a great day and head back to shore with a big catch, but they all felt a lot of curiosity about that strange shape out on the iceberg.
Eventually, their curiosity got the best of them, and they decided to sail closer and see if they could figure out exactly what it was. They soon saw that the animal, whatever it was, was furry and wet.
The Fishing Team Becomes the Investigation Team
The trio of fishermen completely forgot about their regular work. They decided that, at least for a moment, they were going to act as investigators, sailing over to the animal and seeing what was going on.
They had to be careful getting nearer, however, as there were icebergs all around, and the frosty waters in that part of the world are particularly perilous. Still, they all agreed that if an animal needed help, they had to save it.
Slowly Getting Closer
Their approach was steady and slow; their boat was gliding through the water. One of them stayed at the wheel while the others looked out over the sides of the boat for any icebergs or other dangers.
The wind was starting to pick up, and the waves were getting bigger, so the group needed to be very careful and keep their wits about them, no matter what.
Conditions Getting Worse
And the conditions only seemed to get worse from there. As the boat sailed slowly along, the wind just seemed to get worse, and the waves were beginning to crash and splash along the sides of their boat.
Navigation was becoming harder and harder for the trio, and the situation was getting more and more dangerous. Even the iceberg with the animal on top was starting to move all around.
Worries and Fears Start to Grow
The trio were not only worried about the animal’s safety but their own as well. They were all experienced sailors, but the seas and oceans of the world are far too powerful to ever be tamed, and even the greatest sailors can find themselves in danger.
Still, they pushed on, determined to identify the animal on that iceberg and try to help it, if they had to. They approached the iceberg very carefully, so as not to come into contact with it.
Is That a Dog?
After a long and scary journey, the fishermen finally arrived beside the iceberg and started to make out the creature sitting on top. It was furry, with pointed ears and four legs. It looked just like a dog.
Of course, there was no way a simple pet pooch could randomly end up on an iceberg. Either way, the fishermen could see that the dog-like animal was soaking wet, shivering away, and in desperate need of some care.
The Animal’s Identity
So what was this animal? Well, after getting closer and having a good look at it, the fishermen realized that they were staring at an Arctic fox. These gray foxes can survive in frosty conditions, but there was no way this one would survive stranded on an iceberg.
Birds were starting to circle overhead, waiting for the fox to perish so they could enjoy a free meal, and the poor little animal was very close to freezing to death. In short, time was running out, and the trio needed to act.
Time Running out
The three fishermen friends all began to realize the urgency of the situation. They knew that the fox didn’t have much time, and it was up to them to rescue it from a horrible fate.
They needed to work together, using all of their wit to come up with a cunning plan, but they didn’t have much time to think it all through, and daylight was fading fast. They also worried that the fox might not trust them.
Formulating a Plan
Cliff, Mallory, and Allan knew that they couldn’t just step out onto the iceberg and grab the fox. It was far too dangerous, and there were too many risks involved, so they decided to try something different.
They kept the boat near the edge of the iceberg and gently called out to the fox, holding their hands out and hoping it might come closer. It stared at them but made no attempt to move.
Taking Their Time
When trying to help wounded or wild animals, patience is often a very important part of the process. The fishermen knew they didn’t have much time, but they had to stay patient.
They continued calling out to the fox, holding out their arms and trying to show that they meant it no harm. Eventually, after a long wait, the fox started to show some interest and moved towards them.
A Leap of Faith
The fishermen were thrilled to see the fox get closer, but they still needed to get it onto the boat. It got close to the edge but didn’t have enough energy to make a leap.
Fortunately, Allan was nearby and strong enough to lift the fox up and place it down into the boat. Then, he and Cliff got some towels to dry it off and warm it up, but they worried it might get angry.
Making a Break for It
Unfortunately for the fisherman, their attempts at kindness were seen as a sign of aggression by the wild animal. It didn’t attack, but it did try to escape, diving back into the water and heading for the iceberg again.
Fortunately, the fishermen reacted quickly, following the fox in their boat and picking it back up all over again. It went over to a corner of the boat, shivering with fear and frost.
No More Escapes
The friends needed to be sure that the fox didn’t try and make another escape attempt. Mallory headed over to take the wheel and sail them all to safety, while Allan and Cliff kept an eye on the fox.
They knew that they needed to dry it off and warm it up. It was so cold that it was guaranteed to go into shock without their help. They kept a close eye on it, waiting for their moment.
Making a Bed
While Allan and Cliff were ready and waiting with their towels, Mallory had an idea. She suggested that they should prepare a warm and cozy bed for the animal, so Allan and Cliff started looking for bedding materials.
All they could find at hand was some sawdust, commonly used as bedding for animals like rabbits and guinea pigs. They collected up the sawdust and placed it in a plastic box, and then put the box in a sunny area to warm up.
Bed Time for the Fox
Allan had already picked up the fox a couple of times by that point, so he was chosen to approach it once again and try to get it into the bed that he and Cliff had prepared.
Fortunately, the fox didn’t struggle or attack. It seemed to finally understand that the friends were there to help. Allan placed it in the bed, and it fell asleep moments later.
A Bumpy Ride
Meanwhile, Mallory was urgently trying to guide the boat back home to shore, where they would all be safe and sound and could get the fox some urgent medical care.
When they were about half an hour away from the shore, Cliff took over the driving duties while Mallory kept an eye on the fox, who was startled awake by the bumpy waves and just couldn’t seem to settle down.
Time to Eat
Mallory thought that a good way to try and help the fox feel better would be to feed it. After all, they had a whole lot of fresh fish and crab right on board. She offered the fox some, but it wasn’t interested.
Then, she decided to take a look at the food the friends had brought along to share together, finding some Vienna sausages. She placed them in a bowl and gave it to the fox, who immediately gobbled them up.
Getting Back Home
The little fox fell off to sleep after eating the sausages, and it wasn’t long before the boat finally arrived back at the shore. This sudden change in movement disturbed the fox again, but Mallory stayed close by and tried to keep it calm.
She whispered calmly to the fox, hoping that the tone of her voice would soothe its nerves and let it know that there was nothing to be worried about.
A New Home
Now that the friends had safely made it back to shore, they had a new problem to think about: what were they going to do with the fox now?
The animal had eaten and was now dry and warm. It looked quite healthy and happy, but they needed to find somewhere safe for it to escape back into the wild. Mallory knew the perfect place, down by the docks.
A Fox House
The spot that Mallory had chosen seemed very safe and ideal for the fox to run off and start a new life. Not only that, but it was also equipped with its own little dog house, which would now become a fox house.
They’d seen the little house before but had to spend some time searching the area around the docks to try and find it. Meanwhile, Cliff carried the fox the whole way, keeping it safe and warm.
They did it. The three friends eventually tracked down the little dog house structure and placed the fox’s bin down beside it. They wanted to make sure the fox was able to walk properly and run off into the wild, so they waited.
After a little moment, they saw the fox step out of the bin, shaking itself off and walking over to the house. It looked around its new home happily, and Mallory, Cliff, and Allan all knew they’d done a wonderful thing.
He Thought He’d Found a Beaver in the Mud, but the Truth Was Much More Surprising
Many people feel a special kind of empathy and bond with animals. We know and understand that our furry, scaly, and feathered friends sometimes find themselves in difficult situations, and we naturally want to help them; however, we can.
This story shows off that empathy in a beautiful way, as a man found himself face to face with a creature in need and was willing to do whatever it took to save the day.
A Day like Any Other
It seemed like just a regular day in the life of Jim Passmore, but it was a day that would prove to be very special, one he’d never forget!
It began very simply, however, as the Broken Arrow native decided to head off for a walk on a March morning, as he often loved to do, with his pet dogs running along by his side and a crisp chill in the air.
All About Jim
Jim Passmore has always loved nature. He enjoys getting outside, breathing in the fresh air, walking through the forests, and enjoying the scenery of his beautiful Oklahoma home.
Broken Arrow is filled with hills, lakes, forests, and lovely views all around, so it’s a great place for a man like Jim, and one of his favorite hobbies is heading out for walks with his dogs, who he loved even more than nature.
Spotting Something Strange
So, Jim and his dogs had gone out for a walk, just as they had done so many times before, and just as they would so many more times again. They followed the same path as usually, running alongside a creek.
But when they got closer to the creek, Jim noticed something strange. He decided to get closer for a better look, seeing what seemed to be a log floating in the water, except it was a log with hair.
A Trapped Animal
As he got closer still, Jim started to get an understanding of what seemed to have happened. It looked like a furry animal was trapped in the mud.
Jim couldn’t quite be sure, but he could see that the animal appeared to be weak, struggling to escape but not making any progress. It needed help. Jim had expected to be heading home, but he quickly realized that this walk was going to be a long one.
Jim’s Dogs Started Getting Angry
As Jim got closer to the strange furry creature, he noticed that his dogs were starting to act oddly. They were beginning to growl angrily, trying to pull him away from the creature.
Jim was confused. His dogs had been along that same route many times before and never growled before. What was making them so scared or angry? Well, he was about to find out!
Jim Pushes on
Even when his dogs were trying to pull him back, Jim’s instinct told him that he had to get closer and see what was going on. Nearby, he suddenly noticed an animal cage that appeared to have been dumped in the area.
Then, getting closer to the creature, he started to feel like it must be a beaver, due to its color and shape. It would also have made a lot of sense for a beaver to be down near the water like that.
Getting Even Closer
Jim moved closer still, investigating the old animal cage. It looked like the sort of cage people used to take their pets, like a dog or a cat, to see the vet.
He took a look inside the cage for a better understanding of what was going on, believing that the beaver might have been using it as a temporary home. Instead, what he saw inside shocked him to the core.
Inside The Cage
Inside the cage, Jim spotted feces all over its floor. There was a dirty blanked inside as well, and a weighted chain. Jim started to shiver with fright, quickly realizing that something very wrong had happened here.
He realized that someone had purposely abandoned an animal there, chaining them up in the cage. But the most frightening part of all was that the animal itself was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the cage appeared to have been scratched and bitten.
Could It Be a Beaver?
Just as he was taking a closer look at the cage and investigating the area nearby, Jim was startled by the sight of a beaver emerging from the woods nearby. He decided to follow it.
It walked down to the riverbed and suddenly came to a stop. Jim kept his distance and kept an eye on the scene. He noticed that the beaver had stopped near the struggling animal Jim had noticed earlier on.
Definitely Not a Beaver
As Jim got closer to the creature, he began to realize that there was just no way it could be a beaver. It was far too big, to begin with, struggling around in the damp ground.
The creature was clearly in trouble, and Jim had had enough of seeing it move around like that, so he decided to spring into action and try to help it. He still didn’t know exactly what it was, but he vowed that he had to help it somehow.
Jim Vows to Help
Jim didn’t even care what the creature was; he made a vow to it that he was going to help. As an animal lover all his life, Jim knew that he would feel so much regret if he left the creature to carry on struggling and just went home.
He started to try and piece together some kind of plan, deciding that if it was a beaver, it might get aggressive as soon as it was freed. He needed to be very careful.
Asking for Help
Beavers are very territorial animals, and they’ll defend themselves with a lot of strength and aggression if they have to. Jim knew that if he was going to do this and be safe, he needed some help.
Beavers could sometimes carry rabies too, so he definitely didn’t want to go down there alone. He called a few passers-by over to give him a hand, and one of them actually did get bit and had to go to the hospital, while the others stayed on to help.
The Only Way
Jim and his new friends wanted to help the animal, but they had to put their own safety first. They decided that the safest way to try and help it would be to place something over its head.
This plan meant that the animal wouldn’t be able to immediately attack them. Fortunately, the plan worked better than expected, as the animal started to calm down and move around less as soon as a jersey was thrown over its head.
Putting a Plan into Action
Now that the animal was calmed, the rescue team needed to actually get it out of the mood and back onto dry land. First, they tried to dig around it, but there was too much sticky, wet mud all around.
Next, they thought about making their own pulley system, grabbing some ropes, and preparing to lift the animal out of the mud and back to safety. There was just one problem.
Stuck in the Mud
They pulled and pulled, but the animal was well and truly stuck. It just wouldn’t seem to budge, no matter how hard they tried. They could have decided to give up, but they bravely carried on pulling.
Fortunately, their efforts eventually paid off. After a lot of heaving and pulling with all their strength, the group managed to free the trapped animal. The “beaver” was liberated, but then they all realized something astonishing.
The Animal’s True Identity
It was then that Jim and his fellow rescuers realized that the animal they’d freed wasn’t a beaver. It wasn’t a groundhog or anything like that either. It was a sheepdog!
The animal that had been stuck there all that time was a big, fluffy, shivering sheepdog. It looked like it had been out there for a while, but it looked relatively healthy in spite of it all.
A Beaver Buddy?
Jim quickly called 911 and got some police officers to come out to the scene. But one thing kept bothering him that whole time: why had the beaver led him down to the riverbank?
Was the dog being looked after by the beaver? Had they formed an unlikely friendship? It seems strange, but it wouldn’t be the first or last example of animals of different species looking out for one another.
Growing Concerns for the Dog
As the rescuers started to spend some more time with the rescued pup, they realized that it wasn’t as healthy as they had first hoped. It was barely responsive at all, in fact, and they weren’t sure what to do.
Their main concern was keeping the dog warm and comfortable, as it had spent such a long time stuck in the mud. They decided to name the dog ‘Teddy’ and quickly found a blanket to put over it.
Unable to Walk
Not only was Teddy barely responsive, but he also couldn’t really walk at all. The group knew that they needed to get him to a vet for urgent medical care, so the only option they had was to carry him there.
They decided to grab a wheelbarrow they found nearby, placing tired Teddy into it and wheeling him out of the wood and find someone who could help him out.
Seeking Some Help
If ever you find a wounded or injured animal out in the wilderness, the good idea is to contact the nearest animal rescue service. That’s exactly what Jim did: he called the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals.
Jim told the team that Teddy wasn’t in great shape and had been through quite an ordeal, but they were determined to help him, whatever it took. Meanwhile, Jim and the others started to wonder how Teddy had ended up in the creek in the first place.
A Horrible Theory
Jim wondered if maybe Teddy had been hit by a car or just gotten lost, but then he remembered the cage that he’d seen nearby, and the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place horrifyingly.
He realized that the most likely possibility was that Teddy had been abandoned in the woods by a cruel owner who had chained him up in that cage and left him to die.
Learning to Trust Again
Naturally, after seeing how horrible humans could be, Teddy found it difficult to trust people again. It was clear that he would need a lot of time and patience before he began to open up to anyone.
The only positive of the situation was that he was alive and had been rescued. It’s easy to imagine how the situation could have been so much worse, and the chances of Jim finding him that day were so small.
A Lucky Dog
Teddy had clearly had a lot of bad luck with his former owner, but Lady Luck was smiling on him when Jim happened to cross his path. Fortunately, the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals had free space in their shelter just for him too.
Without anywhere for him to live, Teddy would have been euthanized. Luckily, he got the care and shelter he needed. He bit one of the people who tried to rescue him back at the creek, but it was later shown that he didn’t have rabies, so the man was safe.
Getting Used to Things
Teddy had been through a lot. It took some time for him to get used to his new life at the OAA shelter, but the workers showed a lot of love and care to him.
Eventually, he began to come around, realizing that the workers were only trying to help him. He received pain medication to feel better, but there was one more problem that desperately needed fixing.
A Big Problem
After inspecting Teddy, the vet concluded that he was starting to become grossly overweight due to his inability to move around and lack of energy. The stress and pain of his situation were causing more complications.
Overweight dogs can have a lot of health problems. All that weight puts a lot of pressure on their joints and ligaments, as well as increasing the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.
Teddy started to show signs of improvement. It was a slow and gradual process, but he was getting there, day by day, and it was all thanks to the kind efforts of the OAA workers.
One of the workers, in particular, the receptionist named Jessie, was especially loving to Teddy. She even shared his story online, where Teddy started to go viral as more and more people learned of his incredible story.
An Old Dog
Teddy wasn’t the youngest dog at the shelter. In fact, he was quite an old boy. That was another bad sign for him, as older dogs are often ignored and overlooked at shelters, with people preferring puppies and young dogs in general.
This meant that the chances of someone adopting Teddy were slim, but there are still some advantages of giving an old dog a happy end to their life. These dogs are often calmer, better behaved, and more affectionate.
Life in a Shelter
The statistics around animal shelters like the one Teddy ended up in are quite shocking. An exceptional amount of animals are neglected, abused, and abandoned by cruel owners each year, many ending up in shelters and hoping for a second chance at happiness.
Shelter workers do their best to care for all animals, but they often don’t have space or resources to take them all in. This leads to many animals being euthanized each and every year.
The Harrowing Stats
Teddy was one of the lucky ones, but many others aren’t so lucky. In fact, around six million animals are processed into shelters each year, and around 700,000 dogs are euthanized per year.
It’s a tragic situation and one that could be improved so much if people were more responsible about their animals and didn’t just take on dogs without really thinking it all through. Before taking a pet, you need to know that you’re ready.
What Happened to Teddy?
So what happened to Teddy in the end? Did he ever get adopted? Did he have a second chance? Did he find his forever home? Or was he left in the shelter waiting for someone to come from him?
Well, we’re happy to report that Teddy did eventually get adopted. The OAA did great work sharing his story around, and he eventually found a new family. He’s still living with them now, and they regularly post updates about his story on Facebook.