Doberman Fiction: The Yankee Clipper – part 2by Karyn Zoldan on May. 18, 2011, under Dogs, Canines, Fun with Fido, Barking Encouraged
Start with part 1 here.
Carla and Karl Hansen, with their 9-month old son Casey, drove along the road that paralleled the river looking for the turnout that Cas had suggested at the fly shop. Karl had dreamed of fishing the salmonfly hatch since he was a teenager mooning over Field & Stream magazine. But college, med school, marriage and the birth of their baby stood in the way. Only now, as they were en route to San Francisco for his residency, was he able to spend a few hours on the river of his dreams. A $350 float trip was out of the question, but Cas suggested a particular area with pretty good access where he might have a shot at a fish or two while wading.
Karl pulled on his waders and rigged his flyrod while Carla sat under a tree with her baby and a book. She read all of three pages before falling asleep. And when she awoke, the baby was gone.
Frightened and disoriented, Carla ran back to the minivan to see if maybe Karl had come up and taken the carriage back to the car to change a diaper But no Karl, no carriage and no Casey. Her screams of anguish echoed off the canyon walls.
Karl scrambled up the bank to find Carla hysterical. He walked to where the carriage had been and instantly spotted the tracks in the loose dirt. The baby, probably moving around and trying to stand, had jostled the carriage enough so that it began to roll down the bank. Karl followed the tracks to the water’s edge.
Eddie drove five miles back upstream to the Mid Drift parking lot which was full of Sheriff’s Search & Rescue, guides, boats, paramedics and fishermen. Sheriff Henry Rodriguez gathered everyone around him and explained how inexplicably a baby carriage had rolled into the river at the Bronson picnic grounds launch area. He needed guides with boats to put in both at and below Bronson to look for the carriage.
“Not much chance, guys, but we got to do it,” said the sheriff.
Eddie told his fishermen to wait in the bar. “I’ll be back when I get here.”
He screamed out of the Mid Drift lot and drove back downstream to Bronson where he launched in record time. Without 400 pounds of fishermen and gear in the boat, Willow and Jody fairly flew over the water, looking at every tree, snag, rock outcropping, eddy and sandbar that might have caught a baby carriage. They traveled about a mile, just above the highway bridge that crossed the river, when Eddie spotted the carriage bobbing in the current. But there was no way Willow could get the boat close enough. It was too deep to wade and the carriage was half tipped.
Jody sensed something was wrong. He stood with his front paws on the forward deck, quivering, ears straight up, eyes on the water. It was his squirrel hunting look. Eddie wrestled with the oars, trying to get the boat moving back upstream so that he’d have a straight run to the carriage, but the current was too strong. Willow was gasping for breath and the strength to re-position the boat, when he screamed at Jody, “Get the baby! Get the carriage.” The dog was bewildered. He knew his master wanted something of him, but he didn’t know what.
In one motion, Eddie grabbed a spare paddle and hurled it like a javelin toward the carriage. “Go get it!” Eddie screamed.
Jody hit the water full steam and grabbed the paddle – but then he spotted the jingling little toys hanging from the carriage’s cover. The toys were much too fascinating. Jody dropped the paddle and grabbed the carriage handle.
“COME! BRING IT! COME! COME NOW!” shouted Willow.
Jody came. His chest heaving with exhaustion, fighting the cold and river’s flow, he brought the partially submerged baby carriage toward his master.
The current carried Jody and the carriage about 100 yards downstream into the shallows. Eddie came in behind them, dropped his anchor, jumped out of the boat and waded the rest of the way to the carriage and heard Casey crying.
Ten minutes later, a Search & Rescue boat made its way down river and spotted Willow, the carriage and one soaking wet 9-month old baby boy screaming his head off.
“Nothin’ to it,” Eddie told the sheriff, “Jody got him.”
The rescue was all over the news and when Eddie and Jody strolled into the kitchen, Marge grabbed Jody and kissed his head over and over. Then she smiled at Eddie for the first time in months.
(Story graciously submitted by Bennett J. Mintz who is owned by a 6 1/2 year old AKC registered Doberman Pinscher named Ace Barkowitz. Mr. Mintz owns a small advertising & communications agency in Chatsworth, Calif. and is currently the Corresponding Secretary for the Doberman Pinscher Club of Los Angeles.)