May 22, 2023 – 3:30 PM
A Vernon woman probably didn’t think her day could have gotten any worse after losing her dog at Marshall Field, and then she slipped into a cold creek and became submerged.
But falling into Vernon Creek turned out to be a blessing for Jessica Pechet, because after the initial shock she was able to spot Astro – her lost Labradoodle who hadn’t been seen in 45 minutes. The strong current had snagged its collar on a tree branch.
“It was quite emotional seeing my boy and his scared little eyes,” Pechet said.
She let the current carry her to Astro and was able to quickly set the dog free.
“He couldn’t even bark for help because the way his collar was. It was awful to seem, I felt so terrible I hadn’t found him earlier.”
The creek looked even more rugged downstream where it was full of debris. So instead of going with the flow, Pechet threw Astro over her shoulders and fought against the current, pulling on tree branches where she could.
After about 10 minutes of tediously working their way upstream, they were noticed by other dog owners who were also part of the search efforts, and got help climbing out of the creek.
Although the rescue happened close to where the fall happened, Pechet couldn’t see Astro while she was up on the bank because there was too much overgrown vegetation was obstructing her view. She feels like the public park would be safer if the plants were trimmed back, especially during the freshet season.
She made her story public to remind other dog lovers that the serenity of running water can be deceptive, and sometimes it’s important keep pets on a short leash.
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