Heroic Dog and His Owner Save Girl from Drowning

May 5, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. hail 
[heyl] (v.) – to passionately greet or welcome with praise
Example: Many people hailed the arrival of the firefighters who helped save the residents of the burning apartment.

2. frigid [FRIJ-id] (adj.) – very cold
Example:  Many people dislike how frigid last year’s winter was.

3. plunge [pluhnj] (v.) – to suddenly fall or jump
Example: The car plunged off the cliff, but luckily no one was inside.

4. within someone’s reach [with-IN SUHM-wuhn, -wuh n reech] (idiom) – near or close in distance (i.e. the distance that the arm can reach)
Example:  The man easily got the dog food as it is within his reach.

5. intervene [in-ter-VEEN] (v.) – to become involved in a situation so as to influence or change what happens
Example: The lifeguard intervened and swam to get the drowning lady out of the water.

Read the text below.

A dog named Rocky is being hailed as a hero after saving a drowning girl in Edmonton, Canada.

Rocky, a Labrador retriever-husky mix, and his owner Adam Shaw were walking on the bridge over the frigid Saskatchewan River when they heard screams. Sisters Samara, 9 years old, and Krymzen, 10, were riding a sled in a riverside park when their sled fell onto the frozen river. The ice broke and both girls plunged into the icy water.

Shaw and Rocky hurriedly came to the girls' aid. Shaw was able to pull Krymzen out of the water. But, Shaw was unable to immediately save Samara because the current was already carrying her downstream.

The dog then jumped into the water and swam to Samara, who had drifted 50 or 60 yards down the river. Samara held on to Rocky's leash and Rocky pulled her back towards the ice. Once Rocky and the girl were within his reach, Shaw grabbed both of them to safety. Fire rescuers arrived and treated both the girls soon after.

Fire Chief Ken Block said that the girls were very lucky that Shaw and his dog happened to pass by the river and were able to intervene. The girls' mother, Miranda Wagner, said that Rocky and Shaw were her heroes and that without them, she would have lost her daughters. 

The fire rescuers honored Shaw and Rocky by giving Shaw a fireman's hat and Rocky a giant rawhide bone. Shaw reflected that how he and his dog managed to save the girls is a miracle.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         If you were the girls’ mother or father, how would you show your gratitude to Rocky and Shaw?
·         What do you think made Shaw risk his life to save the girls?

Discussion B

·         Do you agree with the saying “A dog is a man’s best friend”? Please explain your answer.
·         In what other ways do you think can animals help people?


May 5, 2013