Do you ever find yourself needing a break? Sometimes a walk in nature can be the perfect answer you’re looking for. After all, when the sun is out, there is no better place to be than outside. If the pull of the warmth isn’t enough, then the chance to see all of Mother Nature’s fabulous creatures in their natural environment could be the excuse you need to lace up your boots and set off on the next adventure. From bird spotting to watching deer, and chasing butterflies to counting bees, what is there not to love about the great outdoors? If you’re lucky, one of the many animals you might get to spot is the beaver.
Canada’s national animal is also one of the most interesting, they are the second largest rodent in the world, and spend a huge portion of their time building dams – especially at night. However, this isn’t all just for show. The beavers use their dams to create lakes where they can build their houses. Why? To keep themselves safe from predators! Their lodgings have underwater entrances meaning they shouldn’t have any unwelcome visitors. Unfortunately, it was one beaver in particular that caught the eye of this man. How had the little animal got itself stuck like that? This wasn’t going to be an easy rescue mission. Especially when he got closer and learned the real story…
Sometimes we are lucky enough to find ourselves in nature’s wonderlands. One of the many places in this world that impresses people with its beauty is Oklahoma. This southern state is filled with rolling hills, and glistening lakes that offer miles of nature walks for anyone looking to get in touch with the outdoors. Could life get any better? As if that wasn’t enough, Oklahoma is also filled with many nature reserves that are dotted all across the landscape. One of the many is Haikey Creek. Here, visitors can enjoy 151 acres of nature reserve – which is just what one man planned on doing. That was until he stumbled across someone, or something, in need of his help…
At one with nature
Jim Passmore has always loved getting outside. In fact, he loves nature so much that he takes his dogs out for walks every day of the week. Rain or shine, Jim will always be spotted soaking up the sights and the sounds of his home state. In fact, he is said to know the area like the back of his hand. One of the many things that draws Jim to the outdoors is the chance to see something new every day. The animals in nature will always be doing something different. By taking the dogs out on a walk at all times of the day, Jim gets to see all their weird and wonderful behaviors.
Can’t wait to get going
One of the best bits of their dog walks is the dogs getting so excited. Although they go out every day, these pooches can’t wait to see where they are going. It looks as though it isn’t only Jim that loves to head outdoors. Haikey Creek is one of Jim’s favorite places for a walk. He has even been known to spend an hour at a time here as he takes in the wondrous views of the water. It truly is a nature lover’s paradise.
It was March 2017, and it looked as though it was going to be just another walk for Jim and his four-legged friends. As he pulled into the parking lot, the dogs were jumping at the windows in excitement. Where could they be? Jim climbed out the car, put on his jacket, and opened the trunk. He might be ready, but the dogs still needed their harnesses before they could go anywhere. Finally, they were prepared to hit the trails. It was another empty day at the creek for the group.
There are several trails that wind all around Haikey Creek. Jim had explored many of the routes over the years and knew the best ones to spot the animals. During his time walking in his favorite areas, he had seen all kinds of creatures come and go. However, there was one he always loved looking out for: beavers. This wasn’t all. Jim often got to see their handiwork as the beavers left their dams throughout the streams. These fascinating creatures gave Jim a perfect chance to lose himself in nature.
Beavers are perfectly adapted rodents to live in the water, but why do they choose such a damp home? Their short legs mean the animals aren’t very fast on land. However, their webbed feet make them a force to be reckoned with in the water. Here, they can swim away from predators with ease. Plus, their tails act as a rudder for when they glide through the water. As if that wasn’t enough, the water gives them the perfect place to build a home to keep their growing family, or colony, safe.
As busy as a beaver
Did you know that beavers’ dams can be 10 feet high and 1,600 feet long? These busy rodents use their sharp teeth to gnaw through trees in just a few minutes. Once the trunk has fallen, they can float their wood across the river and start building a dam. Once it’s made, the dam then stops the flow of water downstream. This is the perfect base to build their lodgings. Unfortunately, the dams can also have negative impacts on the environment as they cause flooding and create new water sources.
The mighty beaver
One of the key architects of Canada’s landscape, beavers are incredibly influential in shaping their environment, due to their ability to build dams that convert the natural water flow of the lakes and rivers they inhabit. And while their building talents are pretty well-known, it’s less common to know is that their Ice Aged ancestors were actually enormous, reaching up to eight feet length and 200 pounds in weight. That’s certainly one beaver we wouldn’t want to come across!
That familiar sound
Jim continued to walk down one of the many trails at the creek until he heard the sound he had been waiting for – the stream. He was finally getting close to the water. The dogs could hear it, too, and they knew they were about to hit the jackpot of animal-spotting. However, there was a problem. Jim didn’t know what it was, but he started to feel uneasy. Before long, the dogs were also beginning to act strangely. They had to keep going.
Something in the water
As Jim got closer to the water, he noticed what had been causing his strange feeling. Something was stuck down in the creek! Although Jim was used to seeing animals around the river, he had never seen one get itself stuck before. What was he to do? It was then that he surmised it must be a beaver. The animals were used to being in the water – how had one got itself completely lodged? There wasn’t time to ponder; Jim needed to act fast.
Calling for help
Thankfully, Jim always took his cell phone with him on his walks just in case there was an emergency. This was one of those times. It wasn’t long before Jim managed to find a number for a park ranger. He explained where he was with the animal and that it was entirely stuck. Jim knew the ranger needed to get there before it was too late. However, the ranger had to stay on the line to find out all the details before he could come up with a plan.
Something wasn’t right
The ranger soon jumped in the car and promised he would be there soon. However, Jim started to notice something strange. The dogs weren’t barking at the distressed creature. Surely they must be confused by the situation? That wasn’t all. Although the animal was entirely trapped, it now looked as though it was too big to be a beaver. Jim looked closer. It was covered in debris, mud, and sticks from the river. This wasn’t a beaver at all.
What could it be?
The ranger arrived within 10 minutes. Jim had tied his dogs to a nearby tree and waved his arms around to get the attention of the rescue team. Plus, the ranger had already called the local authorities while on the way so they could have as much help as possible. Jim knew the creature didn’t have long as it was getting colder as every minute passed. The pair jumped in the river to start trying to dig it out. Then they realized what animal it was that needed their help. It wasn’t a beaver – it was a dog!
Not long after the ranger arrived, both the police and animal control turned up at the creek. However, by now a large crowd had all gathered around to see the stuck pooch. The officers had brought various hardware and a long rope to try and help in the rescue. However, the dog was scared by all the attention. As they started to dig, the animal got even more stressed. They couldn’t leave it, but they also had to think of their safety.
Pulled to safety
Although the dog was beginning to panic, the team managed to tie the rope around its middle. Now, they would be able to pull it to safety. Hopefully, this would be before it was too late. The team in the creek handed up the rope while the officers on land began to tug on the dog. They pulled with all their might, and the dog was finally freed! Unfortunately, seeing the pooch on land was about to raise even more problems…
Answering the questions
The team needed to check over their rescue victim to see if the dog had any injuries from its time in the river. However, the pooch was severely overweight. No wonder it had sunk so far into the mud – its own bodyweight was the thing dragging it down this whole time. How long could this poor animal have been stuck in the water? Plus, where had it come from? It didn’t look like a stray, meaning there must be owners out there somewhere.
Looking for the owners
As soon as the dog was pulled to safety, the entire team was there to get him cleaned up. They had gathered plenty of fresh towels to remove all of the mud. Plus, they wanted to try and warm up the dog. After all, they had no idea how long he had been trapped in the freezing waters. People had begun asking around for the owners, but no one had been found. Unfortunately, it looked as though this dog was set to head to the shelter.
First thing was first – they needed to get the dog straight to the vet. Just because he didn’t have any apparent injuries didn’t mean there wasn’t something lurking underneath all that fur. He headed for the Alta Vista Animal Hospital where he was put straight into quarantine. Sadly, the dog had bitten a volunteer during the rescue mission. The vets feared he could have rabies and needed to be monitored for ten days before he was given the all-clear. The dog did get one thing though: a new name. Teddy.
Getting local support
Teddy’s time in quarantine gave him a perfect chance to calm down after all the stress of getting stuck. Thankfully, he came out the other side with the all-clear. Now, the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals (OAA) was on the case. The non-profit organization works with the local community to help encourage people to adopt pets rather than buy them from pet stores. They couldn’t bear to see Teddy become another statistic. He was in desperate need of their help.
Taking to Facebook
The OAA work tirelessly to help reunite pets and their owners or find abandoned animals their new forever homes. One of their biggest platforms is their Facebook page where they post updates on the animals in their care as well as advertising all their open days. The team discovered Teddy was an 8-year-old collie mix that needed a lot of attention thanks to his weight and age. Although many wanted to take the dog home, the OAA believed his needs were putting off potential families.
Searching for happily ever after
So how had the dog ended up in such a predicament? The police believed Teddy had been struck by a vehicle and was flung into the creek. However, the OAA think he lent down for a drink and simply slipped in. Teddy was rescued in March 2017, and once he was with the shelter it took a while to find a home. The OAA might not be miracle workers, but they never want to see an animal meet their untimely end – no matter their story.
Oklahoma Alliance for Animals
The organization that took Teddy in and helped save him is a nonprofit based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The OAA constantly strives to help overcome pet homelessness, abuse, and neglect. Not only do they rescue animals, but they provide services for pet care and spay/neuter service to prevent overpopulation. Additionally, they also believe in collaborating with the community to help animals, as well as provide education on animals and responsible pet ownership. Besides Teddy they still have many animals up for adoption waiting for their forever homes.
A happy ending
Anyone who has worked for a rescue organization knows that finding homes for dogs and cats in need can be incredibly difficult. OAA was worried that with all of Teddy’s issues, and the fact that he was no longer a puppy, it was going to be hard to find him a home. But thankfully luck smiled down upon Teddy and a manager from a local animal hospital ended up falling in love with him. At long last Teddy got his happy ending, and is now living the good life in his forever home.
In the media
Jim Passmore’s heroic rescue of Teddy was captured by passerbyers, as well as other rescuers. The heartwarming story of this poor dog, who was mistaken for a beaver, touched people’s hearts and it didn’t take long for it to go viral. Even over a year after Teddy’s rescue people are still talking about it! It ended up in many online publications such as New Ravel, Honest to Paws, Scribol, NDTV, and more. People just can’t get enough of Teddy’s story.
Hope for Paws
Jim is far from the only brave (human) soul out there to take on Mother Nature in an effort to save a helpless creature – or several. In 2017, L.A.-based animal rescue group Hope for Paws reported on a daring mission of their own. After responding to an emergency call, several members of their staff arrived to discover an entire litter of abandoned puppies, stuck in a cave! Eldad Hagar, founder of Hope for Paws, and his companions got to work to pull each and every one of the frightened little pups out of there.
The rescue continues
It was hard to tell just how many puppies were trapped in the cave’s dark abyss. One by one, founder Eldad extracted the puppies, a total of eight of them. They were just about to leave the premise, when on a hunch, he decided to dive deep into the cave – and found a ninth puppy, shivering from fear! He managed to (gently) grab him and remove him to safety, along with the rest of his brethren. They were scared, but at least they were safe now, every last one of them.
Down the well
Thankfully there are stories of humans rescuing dogs all over the world. In one particular case in Scotland a poor doberman named Freya fell down a well. Where’s Lassie when you need her? Well, instead of Lassie, this doberman found herself being rescued by some very kind Scottish firemen who went down into the well to get her. Freya was able to be returned back home to her family where she could continue to lead a happy, and hopefully safe, life.
Some humans love animals so much that they will go to extremes to save them. That’s what happened when a young man in Russia, named Ivan, saw a dog drowning in a frozen pond. He immediately dove into the icy waters in order to save the dog. Some people thought he was crazy, but he felt it was all worth it. Ivan managed to save the dog, who he named Rex. The two instantly fell in love, and Ivan decided to adopt Rex leading to another happily ever after.