CRITICAL, PLEASE READ THIS LINK FIRST
August 17, Tom and Marie Morgan of Ridgefield, Washington were walking along the edge of a tributary of the Lewis River with
their six year-old daughter Taylor and family dog Maggie. The river was in full
flow due to recent heavy rains. As Taylor ran forward to throw a rock
into the river, the bank collapsed and, falling into the rushing
torrent, Taylor was quickly swept away.
couldn't keep up with her," said her father, "the water was too quick." I
was running as fast as I could along the edge when Maggie bolted past me
for about 30 yards and then leaped into the river. I lost sight of both
of them for a second and then I saw Maggie with Taylor's jacket collar
in her mouth trying to swim towards the bank. The river took them down
about another hundred yards before Maggie was able to reach the bank.
Even though they went under a few times she didn't let go once. If it
hadn't been for Maggie, we would have lost our daughter."
eyewitness who was jogging nearby when the incident happened said, "The
dog sprinted and jumped about 12 feet out into the river just in front
of the child. They both went under and when they came up the dog had her
jacket in its mouth and was dragging her to the bank. The dad ran into
the water's edge and grabbed the other side of the child's jacket and
they both dragged her up onto the grass. I have never seen anything like
Sergeant Michael Brodie of
the local police department said that in twenty years on the force
he had not seen anything like it either.
"I have never heard of a dog
jumping into a river to save a child before. The family is very lucky to
own a dog with this degree of devotion. When I took the report at the
family's home, the dog sat there looking back and forth between me and
Taylor and I could sense something extremely unusual between them."
father Tom says that it is not the first time Maggie has displayed an
unusual degree of devotion towards Taylor.
"Maggie never lets her out of
her sight. About two years ago she rushed into the house, breaking the
screen, barking as if she had gone crazy. She is usually very gentle and
quiet. When my wife and I rushed to see what was happening she ran out
into the yard where we found Taylor lying on the grass having trouble
breathing. She had been stung on the neck and is highly allergic to
Maggie has been a member of the family
since Taylor was just two years old. "We visited an animal shelter and were walking
down a row of cages and all the other dogs were either barking or
running around but one was just sitting quietly in the middle of its
cage as if waiting and Taylor stopped and said, "Hello Maggie, we're
taking you home."
The parents don't know where Taylor got the name from but said it
just stuck. "We have always known there was an unusual bond between them.
When Taylor was younger and first walking, Maggie would move toys out
of her path and always sleeps just outside her bedroom door as if on
When asked about her river rescue, Taylor responded "Maggie
Today, the Morgan family received
notice that Maggie has been nominated for a Commendation of Bravery by the police department.
Unfortunately, the medal may be given posthumously.
"We found out last
month that Maggie has been diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma cancer and
will not be with us in a few months; we haven't told Taylor yet as she
will be devastated. It will be the hardest thing we have ever had to do.
The two have an inseparable bond that is based on real love. We owe our
daughter's life to her."