Summer is here and many people are traveling to new places. Like one teenage boy, who was on vacation in Wales recently — and unexpectedly ended up doing one thing that wasn’t on his to-do list: saving a dog’s life!
The inspiring act of kindness was shared by Jane Warner, the owner of a 7-year-old Shih-Tzu named Charlie.
On a recent trip to the Penllergare Valley Woods, Charlie decided to chase some ducks. It was the first time he had ever done so, and it soon landed him in trouble. Charlie jumped in the lake to paddle after the ducks, but soon found himself trapped in the water.
“Charlie was going further and further out and was getting stuck in the reeds. You could see he was struggling to stay afloat,” Jane told Wales Online.
Jane worried, but couldn’t go in after him: “I’m disabled, so there was no way I could’ve swum out to get him. Which just left me standing there helpless on the bank thinking, ‘What the hell do I do now’?”
Then suddenly, a complete stranger jumped into the water and started swimming after Charlie!
It was no easy task, but the teen successfully swam out and reached Charlie. He freed the dog, and led him back to shore.
“The poor lad himself was also quite shaken up afterwards,” Jane said. “I think it had been a tougher swim than he’d expected and I’m really grateful to him for risking his own safety the way he did.”
While it was an ordeal, it was worth it to save Charlie’s life. Jane was extremely grateful: “So I’ve no doubt in my mind that had Connor not got to him right then he’d have died,” she told Wales Online.
But as the post went viral, she soon learned his identity: Connor Telford, a 17-year-old from Dundee, Scotland. And she soon learned the eventful day was his first time in Wales.
“He lives in Scotland and arrived in Wales today, this was his first stop on his holiday in The Mumbles,” Jane wrote.
Needless to say, it was quite an eventful, and exhausting, start to a vacation: “This was the first day of Connor’s first ever trip to Wales – and, oh my goodness, what a day it turned out to be,” Connor’s girlfriend’s mother Shelagh told Wales Online.
“He’s not a strong swimmer but launched himself headfirst into the lake with no thought for his own safety. He came out bedraggled, visibly shaken and was physically sick – but he’s recovering well from his ordeal.”
But she says the teen has recovered thanks to some ice cream, and he’s been widely praised as a hero online.
“Without this lad and you all clapping and cheering him to keep him fighting then I’d be telling a very different story,” Jane wrote.
Thank you to Connor for going out of the way to save Charlie from drowning! You’re a true hero.