To the Editor:
I have an incredible story I would like to share with the good people of Keremeos.
My name is Mae Webster and I am from Merritt, B.C. My family own property on River Road where my Aunt Helen White lives and I was camped out there for the week with my grandkids, nieces, mother and twogolden retrievers.
On Wednesday, July 18 we were all down at Red Bridge enjoying the weather and swimming and playing at the river. Our dogs were also playing get the ball out of the river. Lucy, our seven year old is a very determined dog when it comes to getting the ball and is relentless in getting her ball….well this day she really showed how relentless she was and wouldn’t give up on getting this ball that was hard for her to grasp in her mouth because it was slightly larger than her mouth and slippery because it was wet. The ball wandered out into the current and she went with it, trying to get the ball into her mouth, but every time she would snap at it, the ball would go farther away from her. The next thing I knew, she was being swept down the river which was higher than normal for this time of year. At first I wasn’t concerned because she is a strong swimmer and absolutely loves the water. As she went further down the river I realized she wasn’t going to get into shore and started down after her but she was moving so fast I couldn’t get to her and she couldn’t get herself into shore. As she got further away from me I realized I couldn’t see her anymore but I could still see the blasted ball….I was sure she was drowning. I headed back to the red bridge and grabbed my truck and headed over to the one lane bridge to see if I could see her.
I got to the bridge and was standing on it looking for Lucy or even the ball. Some vehicles crossed the bridge but didn’t stop except for this one. The woman asked me what was wrong and I almost did not tell her. I told her my story and she took down my name and phone number and told her Lucy’s name.
I then went back to Red Bridge and had some of my family go back to the property just in case Lucy had made it out of the river and decided to head to the farm. I proceeded to walk the river calling to Lucy and whistling to see if I could hear her barking or whining but I had such a bad sick feeling in my gut I did not expect to hear her.
I walked as far as I could and turned back to Red Bridge gathered up the rest of my family and headed home. I decided I would go back to the one lane bridge and just have another look, but I couldn’t see Lucy or the ball. We started back home and on the way I saw some woman working on their property and talked to them about what was going on and if they could keep an eye out for Lucy. One lady, I believe her name is Sherry said that her dogs had been barking in the back and they only bark if another dog is around. So I drove down Cory Road to see what was there and drove onto a property that backed onto the river. We didn’t find Lucy but we met a young man by the name of Tyler who also said he would look out for Lucy. He said he would take his dogs for a walk along the dike and see if he could see anything. So with that we headed back to the farm.
When we got back to the farm I noticed my cell phone was beeping and upon looking at it saw a Keremeos number I wasn’t familiar with, I almost ignored it but then I remember the young woman on the bridge and listened to my phone messages. Much to my amazement it was her, Cecilia, and she said that she decided not to go to Penticton as she had originally planned but stayed home and took her labs down to the river to chase sticks and while she was there she was also calling Lucy’s name. Well, wouldn’t you know it but up out of the river came Lucy…..well the rest is history, I went over to Cecilia’s place which is close to the one lane bridge and bawled my eyes out on a total strangers shoulder because I was so relieved and thankful that she had decided to stay home and help out a family of strangers find their beloved friend, Lucy.
Cecilia, I can only thank you again and again…you are a hero to my family and will never be forgotten. Your unselfish act has kept our family together and we were able to enjoy the rest of our holiday and be very thankful that there are still people out there like you, Sherry and Tyler.
Yours sincerely, Mae Webster, Merritt