Any well-trained dog can usually be allowed to be off-lead when in safe surroundings. But, sometimes even someplace you think is very safe…isn’t.
Dangers lurk sometimes where you’d least expect. Who would think that a quiet walk on a beach with your girlfriend and your dog could turn potentially deadly?
Paul Stott and his girlfriend Kyla were enjoying a nice walk on a Northumberland, England beach with Paul’s puppy, Dave. They had been working with Dave on basic training and he was coming along nicely.
Paul certainly never thought that letting his three-month-old Chihuahua/Jack Russell puppy run free on a public beach would create as much drama as it did.
In fact, he thought nothing of unclasping Dave’s leash to allow him to play in the Seaton Sluice Beach surf for a bit. Dave decided not to play in the surf though.
He took off in a mad dash down the beach, with Paul and Kyla in hot pursuit. Suddenly, Dave disappeared.
Paul couldn’t believe his eyes. One minute Dave was there, the next, he was gone. He raced to the spot where he’d seen him last. Nothing. Except for a slightly more “wet” appearing spot in the sand.
His heart stopped for a moment as he realized he was looking at quicksand. He immediately fell down beside the spot and started reaching into the muck. He breathed a sigh of relief when he felt Dave’s body, but realized that the danger wasn’t over yet.
He pulled Dave to the surface and was relieved to see his stomach rising and falling as the poor little guy tried to get his breath. Soon, he was gasping and then after a few coughs to clear his throat, Dave appeared to be none the worse for his adventure.
Paul says he absolutely will never again let Dave run free on the beach. And he warns parents to watch their small children closely too.
For now, no matter how well-trained Dave becomes, his free time will be spent inside his safely fenced backyard. Someplace Paul can be sure doesn’t have any deadly quicksand pools lurking.
Paul made a video of himself reaching into that puddle of quicksand to show how deep it was. Potentially deadly for a baby or toddler that tumbled into it when no one was watching.
Paul stated after his terrifying moments, “The quicksand is really dangerous and I am very concerned there is going to be a serious accident.”
Poor little Dave probably thinks there’s already been one. I’m sure his drama felt pretty darned serious to him.
Note that little Dave is keeping an anxious paw on Paul in the photo above to make sure he doesn’t get himself into trouble. Dave remembers very well how scary that was!
Dave points to his arm, showing how deep he had gone before he felt anything that felt anywhere near solid. Certainly over the head of small children and most pets.
Paul immediately contacted the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, who carried out an investigation into the incident. The Amble Coastguard Rescue Team reported that the quicksand area had a circumference of 2ft and a depth of around 5ft. Dangerous even to short adults.
Warning signs have now been erected along the beach urging the public to be aware of the dangers.
Adam Turner, senior coastal operations officer for the UK Coastguard, said: “Our advice is always the same if you become stuck in mud or quicksand – stay calm, try and spread your weight as much as possible and avoid moving. Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
He added, “Anybody trapped should also discourage other well-meaning members of the public from attempting to rescue them because without the proper equipment they could become stuck too.”
We’re certainly glad that Paul was watching when Dave had his accident. It would take only a few moments for the wet sand to have completely blocked the tiny puppy’s airways. The end result could have been very different. Dave says he thinks of that often and always gives Dave a quick hug.
Dave’s accident is not the only pet-related quicksand incident in the area. Hopefully, other pet owners will pay close attention to Paul’s warning this time!
Source: Honest To Paws