Animal Control Officer Rescues Blind and Deaf Dog from River

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For Emily Massey, it is a mystery how her 16-year-old Jack Russell terrier named Charlie ended up stranded in Tennessee’s Harpeth River, but she is glad the senior pet was rescued and is back home.

On June 15, 2014, Massey took her elderly, blind and deaf dog with her, to help clean out a barn on a farm property near the intersection of Old Hickory Boulevard and Hillsboro Road in Nashville.

Emily Massey and Charlie. Photo Credit: Williamson County
Emily Massey and Charlie. Photo Credit: Williamson County

“He can’t hear very well. He can’t see,” Massey told The Tennessean. “I thought he would stay close to me like he always does.”

Charlie however, took off when Massey wasn’t looking and when she realized he was gone, she thought he had gone somewhere to die alone.

The pet owner searched the property but came back empty handed.

That same day, a woman spotted the dog in the river. The Good Samaritan heard barks and cries and when she went to investigate, she saw the small dog stranded on a rocky sandbar.

The woman immediately called authorities for help, and an animal control officer was dispatched to the location.

Animal Control Officer Randall Brown used a life preserver and a leash to swim over to Charlie. Brown carefully secured the pet and then swam back to shore. Once safe, Charlie was taken to the county shelter and the next day he was reunited with a worried but relieved Massey.

“He was so glad to see me,” said Massey. “He would not quit licking me.”

Charlie might not be able to see or hear his owner, but a soon as he was back on Massey’s arms, he knew he was safe and back with his beloved human.






2 thoughts on “Animal Control Officer Rescues Blind and Deaf Dog from River”

  1. It would seem to me that if the dog is blind and deaf, that she would be more protective of it. It can’t protect itself because it can’t see anyone or anything approaching, nor can it hear. I am glad the story turned out right, but she needs to be more aware of her doggie

    • My senior blind girl usually stays close to me, so I rarely put her on the leash. She’s now starting to go deaf. I keep her on a long leash almost all the time now, just because she did walk away from me and was lost for about an hour. I was so terrified that something would happen to her in that hour that she was gone.


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