HEROES: Quick Thinking by 3 Fishermen Leads to Them Rescuing 38 Pooches From Drowning

"Man's best friend. (Credit: Unsplash/Christopher Paul High)

When life gives you the chance to do the right thing, you have to be down for the moment. When 38 - yes, you read that right - 38 hound dogs were spotted floundering in the middle of Mississippi's Granada Lake, insurance agent Bob Gist, and his buddy Brad Carlisle, along with their fishing guide Jordan Chrestman, were equal to the task. 

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Leaving the fish for the moment, they steered their boat to the water-treading hounds and hauled them to shore, all 38 of them, saving them from a watery grave. Not a single pooch was lost:

By the time fishermen spotted the first head bobbing above the water, the 38 dogs were exhausted and struggling to stay alive.

The hound dogs had plunged into a large Mississippi lake while chasing a deer, a diversion during a fox hunt. Bob Gist, who was fishing on the lake, knew they had no chance.

“A deer can swim the Mississippi River, and those dogs are not going to catch a deer in the water,” he recalled Friday.

They weren’t going to survive, either, Gist and the others realized — unless someone acted right away. The insurance agent from Jonesboro, Arkansas, along with friend Brad Carlisle and guide Jordan Chrestman, headed over in their small boat.

“There were dogs everywhere,” Gist said. “They were kind of swimming in circles and didn’t know which direction to go.”

Deer are indeed good swimmers; it's not unknown for them to take to the water to avoid predatory pursuit. And, to be perfectly candid, most hound trainers I've known go to great lengths to train their dogs not to chase deer. Even the best dogs will break training now and then, though, and in a pack, if one does so, it can cascade through to the others. But once these hounds had followed the deer into the lake, they were in trouble:

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As the dogs’ frantic owners watched from the shore, the three men started grabbing whatever dogs they could. There were too many to all fit on the bass boat, so three trips to shore were needed.

A photo Gist took during the rescue shows Carlisle standing and grinning in mirrored sunglasses, with more than a half-dozen of the hound dogs perched on the bow. Numbers from the fox hunt are painted on their sides.

Kudos all around!


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There are times when we feel surrounded by bad news, and I'll admit I'm not always the most optimistic fellow you're liable to run into. But now and then, something like this comes along, and you remember that, while the bad people and the chronic attention-seekers tend to wrest the spotlight away and turn it on themselves, there are millions more out there like Bob Gist, Brad Carlisle, and Jordan Chrestman, who saw a bunch of dogs whose enthusiasm had run away with them (literally) and had gotten themselves into serious trouble. Thanks to the intrepid trio, all 38 hounds are back with their owners, who we are sure are relieved; we can hope they bought the rescuers a drink or two by way of thanks.

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There are still a lot of great people in the world, local heroes, people who when they have the chance to do the right thing, follow through. We should all remember that. It gives the rest of us just a little more hope for the world.

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