Great story for dog lovers. My Newfie Golden Mix Wrigley climbed up the ladder and jumped into the pool yesterday to save my wife who screamed when she fell off her raft as she was trying to get on.
Newfoundland dogs were bread as fishing companions to fishermen off the Newfoundland coast. They were trained to dive into the water and retrieve nets that were snagged, equipment that had gone overboard, and also to retrieve fishermen who had fallen out of boats. They have an instinctual reflex to jump in and actually use their paws to pull people to shore.
Wrigley has done this to me several times when I have been swimming in a lake with her and I go out to far. She swims out and puts a big front paw over my shoulder and around my neck to guide me back to short.
Yesterday, there was nothing wrong...but the gate was open on the ladder, My wife was getting onto her raft for a little float time. She lost her balance and went off backwards...but before she did she let out a scream...Wrigley scampered up the ladder and jumped right into the pool after her. She put a paw around her shoulder and even though my wife was now standing on the bottom of the pool Wrigley tried to push her toward the ladder to safety.
I have had my pool for four years and never has she ever shown any interest in getting in, even though she loves the water. She was so proud of herself that once she realized my wife was safe she stayed in and played for a while.
I don't want her to make this a habit as she weighs almost 100 lbs...but it is nice to know that she is there, ever vigilant, watching over my family when I am not there to do so myself. She is a gentle giant and loves my family to death. If I can only get her to stop digging my socks out of the hamper after work she'd be the perfect dog!