Quick thinking saves dog
NORTH BENNINGTON — What started as a typically laid back Father’s Day outing for Scott Atherton and his family on Sunday ended in a shocking series of events. But quick work from the Middlebury resident meant it did end not in tragedy.
Atherton nearly lost his corgi dog, Aaron, to a deadly whirlpool in the Walloomsac River formed by a hidden concrete slab forming a hole within the waters.
Atherton, his partner Teal Akeret, and daughter Mira were visiting son Nick in North Bennington on June 17 and they went to the river for a relaxing day of fishing. They brought Aaron along, as the dog loves to swim.
Unfortunately, as Aaron eagerly plunged into the water, as he usually does, he was sucked into an unseen current that left the family in terror.
Akeret said the dog was pulled completely out of sight and there did not appear to be any exit to the narrow stream. Akeret believed this would be the end for Aaron.
“I just thought, this is it. How can he be saved?” Akeret said. “We were all traumatized and couldn’t believe this would be happening on Father’s Day.”
Luckily, Atherton was able to respond to this situation by jumping into the river, reaching blindly into the water under the concrete slab and pulling Aaron by the scruff of his neck out of the waist-deep water.
Akeret reported that Aaron appeared dazed for a few moments after being pulled from the river. She could tell that he was traumatized from his sneezing and shaking.
Despite this, Aaron was quick to recover and Akeret said “the next day he wanted to go swimming.”
While there is a sign at the Walloomsac River marking the dangerous waters, Akeret says the sign was facing the other direction, and they believed it to be referring to the waterfall.
After the incident, the family used nearby rocks to fill the hole that was creating the whirlpool to prevent a future problem.
Akeret describes Aaron’s rescue as a “miracle” and believes that in Aaron finding the dangerous waters, he could have saved a child that may be swimming in the same area.
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