While fishing on Criccieth Beach in Wales, Rich Wilcox was busy snapping photos of the picturesque scenery when he heard his springer spaniel dog, Leia, barking feverishly at him from the water’s edge. She seemed to be barking, “Hurry, help!” But he never expected what came next.
As he got closer to the little dog, he realized she had definitely found something. At first, he thought it was a small shark stranded in the shallow water, but then he noticed a blow hole on top of the creature’s head and realized that it was a stranded baby dolphin who had washed up on the shore and was stuck in the sand. The helpless dolphin was abandoned, and needed help — quickly.
Rich told the Daily Post, “I was stood taking pictures and videos of the scenery when Leia started to make a right old fuss.
“She kept coming up to me, barking and nudging me, she must have smelt the dolphin from a mile off.
“At first I thought it was a baby shark, it was only about one and half foot but on a closer inspection I could see the blow hole on top of his head and realized it was a dolphin.
“There was nobody around for miles so I did what I could as gently as possible. I lifted him gently under the belly and popped him back amongst the waves and he swam away into deeper water.
“I combed the beach for a while afterwards and stayed for an hour or so to make sure he made it back out to sea.”
A spokesperson for the Seawatch Foundation believes the animal may have been a juvenile porpoise, noting, “With the strong winds we are getting at the moment it is quite possible he just got blown out of the way and stranded rather than having anything seriously wrong with him, so let’s hope he made it back out to sea safely.”
Had the man and his dog not been at the beach that day, the beached baby dolphin surely would have died. He nicknamed the baby dolphin Buddy, and captured a picture once he was safely off and swimming again.
Photo Credit: The Dodo/YouTube
Leia, Rich said, was the real hero of the day. It was his four-legged best friend who noticed another animal in need and got her human’s attention. “… If it wasn’t for my dog barking at me I would have missed him too,” he wrote on YouTube.
Watch the whole thing here: