In a final act of love, a family pet saves a young girl from the deadly currents of a flood-ravaged city.
As a wall of water swept through the Phillipine city of Cagayan De Oro on Friday, seven-year-old Jennylou Yecyec, her parents Nilo and Marilou, their pregnant dog, and her brother Mark attempted to escape the rising flood by huddling together on the roof of their home. But when a 30 foot high swirling tide collided with the building it disintegrated – leaving the family and their pet in peril as they bobbed in the churning, violent current.
Marilou said she was clinging to floating debris as the family and their dog struggled to stay afloat. She watched helplessly as Jennylou and the dog were pulled away from them as a second surge of water pushed through the city.
Jennylou said the dog fought the force of the current to stay close to her. “It’s as if it did not want to leave my side,” she said. Struggling to stay afloat and gasping for breath, Jennylou said the dog started nudging her as if it wanted her attention. Weakened and fading, the young girl clung to the dog for safety.
By this time, the family had been swept into the open sea. Jennylou said the already exhausted canine made a final and forceful push, navigating toward a plank of wood floating nearby. She says she was able to cling to the log, but when she turned to find her rescuer, she was too late: its mission accomplished, the weary dog drew one last breath before it went under and was swallowed up by the rolling tide it had labored to save Jennylou from. It would never be seen again.
At daybreak, Jennylou, her family, and other flood survivors were plucked from the sea by a fleet of rescue boats. Marilou said the family owes the dog – a dog that they never even named – a debt of gratitude for its devotion to her daughter. Jennylou agrees.
Speaking from the evacuation center where her family has taken temporary shelter, the heartbroken young girl knows that she very likely owes her life to the love of a faithful pet. “I would have died if not for our dog,” she said.