A kind dog brings a small stranded animal to safety.

A friendly dog rescues a stranded small animal and transports it to safety.

On the first hot day of summer, Lauren Lynde and her husband took their 2-year-old golden retriever, Wally, for a swim.

The family paddled their canoe to one of the islands in Hickory Hills Lake near Lunenburg, Massachusetts, completely unaware that they would have an unexpected encounter.

Wally loves to swim and it’s hard to get him out once he gets in. “Normally we give him sticks or his ball to chase,” Lynde says, “but he also swims in circles by himself, which is a lot of fun.” “He also wears a shark life jacket,” the narrator adds.


Lynde noticed something floating in the water nearby while Wally was paddling in the lake. Lynde thought it was an otter or a long stick at first, then the stranger jumped on Wally’s back.

She then discovered that the “stick” was a groundhog.


“My husband and I couldn’t believe it,” Lynde said. “Wally simply stared at the groundhog, started swimming toward the shore, and the groundhog climbed on his back right in front of us.” Wally didn’t seem worried. He only looked over his shoulder a few times before continuing to swim.”

Lynde couldn’t figure out why the groundhog was swimming – maybe it was cooling off like the rest of us.

Fortunately, Wally enjoys meeting new people even more than swimming. “He enjoys all the animals he meets,” Lynde observes. “When he meets small children, he kisses them on the cheek. He’s the sweetest dog you’ve ever met, and he gets along with almost everyone.”


“He got off Wally’s back and they looked at each other and rubbed their muzzles together, kind of like a goodbye,” Lynde explained. “The groundhog ran to the shore, they exchanged one last look, and then he scurried away, leaving Wally to resume his swim.”

“I couldn’t believe it,” she continued. “I was stunned.”

Groundhogs are often shy, but something about Wally put the wild animal at ease.

“I think Wally just exudes goodness,” Ms. Lynde observed, “and maybe everyone, including the animals, can sense that.”

Watch the rescue in the video below:


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