For nearly three weeks, the people of Southern California were pummeled with relentless storms. 32 trillion gallons of water, 160mph winds in the mountains, and tens of millions without power.
For the Brill Family, it also meant that their Australian Shepherd, Seamus, was not able to do his normal routine, which meant going on multiple walks a day. The family let him play in their backyard and gave him endless chew toys, but his energy still pent up inside him.
“The walks are absolutely essential just to take the edge off,” Emily Brill said. “He definitely had some cabin fever.”
On January 16th, the weather finally broke allowing Emily to take both Seamus and their other dog Topaz on a much needed walk. Emily went to adjust the leash when she lost her grip and Seamus broke free. He bolted and wriggled through a fence.
What was normally a dry basin, was now a raging river and Seamus began sliding into the water. She tried to keep up on foot, but was quickly losing track of Seamus. Brill called 911 immediately and her husband quickly drove over to help.
Her husband joined her and they used the Apple Air Tag that was on Seamus' collar to track his location. He was more than a mile down from where he had entered the river.
Unknown to the couple, Seamus was able to escape the water via a drain pipe. That is where Darrell Smith heard him barking. The dog was ten feet below the bike path along the river.
Smith was able to flag down the San Bernardino Fire Department that was called to the scene. The firefighters quickly got down to the drain pipe and rescued Seamus. He was then driven to the location on the tag and when no one answered, the Brill family was called.
Despite the ordeal, Seamus was still his energetic self when he was reunited with his family. “He just took one look at me, and he just gave me a hug,” Brill said.
Emily thanked Darrell for his help and asked if there was anything she could do to thank him. Based on his request, she bought him and others at his camp four queen-size fleece blankets, 20 pairs of socks, sweatshirts, undershirts and nonperishable foods like trail mix, granola bars and protein bars.
Brill also started a gofundme to raise money for Smith to get permanent housing, which he hasn't had for 10 years. “He saved Seamus’s life,” Brill said, “so I just wanted to do more for him.”
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