Baboon Redux – Puggi Lives!

Header photo by Christina Nöbauer  

A Repeat Guest Blog from Renee Boomgaarden, originally posted in 2010. 

Recently we discussed our feeling about news stories, and I noted that there was very little in the news that I could tolerate, with the exception, I now must confess, of stories about animal rescue. I don’t mean shows about animal welfare officers rescuing pets from abuse and neglect-those shows just make me angry and upset. I mean stories about helping animals out of predicaments of their own making. You know the kind-goats stranded on bridges or with their heads stuck in fencing, bears who wander into town, get treed and tranquilized, and fall sleepily into the waiting nets of patient rescuers who transport them back to the woods, ducklings retrieved from storm sewers as their mother quacks anxiously nearby.

I think my favorite stories are those told friends and family. The story about the dog who decided it would be a good idea to roll vigorously back and forth over a decomposing porcupine (both smelly and painful) stands out, as does the tale of the poor, bored, Lakeland Terrier who spent hours independently chasing a ball back and forth over a paved parking lot until it had worn the pads off its paws.

My dad and my best friend tell the most memorable rescue stories. My friend grew up on a farm, and one day after checking the cattle she came upon a Great Grey Owl sitting on the ground under a telephone pole. She was able to walk quite close to it and saw that one pupil was quite dilated. It looked kind of stunned and she surmised it had had a head injury. She somehow managed to get it into a tall box in the back of her car and drove three hours to get it to a raptor center at the University of Minnesota. She never heard what happened to it after that.

My father loves dogs and has had his share of trauma with them over the years. He still speaks with sorrow over a favorite dog he had as a boy-a Rat Terrier named Diamond-who went down a badger hole and never came back up. It still bothers him. His all-time favorite dog, however, was Puggi the Pug, a dog he had after he retired. One day in early Spring, Dad and Puggi went to the city park in Luverne, right along the Rock River, to see if the ice had broken up. The river was still frozen over, but barely, and before he could stop her, Puggi ran out on the ice to get to some birds on the other bank.
A portion of the ice gave way and she went through and was pulled under the remaining ice by the strong Spring current.

She was gone.

Dad said he walked down stream about 100 feet and just stared, thinking to himself that he had lost his dog for good. His eye was caught by an old ice fishing hole in the middle of the river, and to his joy, up popped Puggi. She couldn’t scramble out of the hole on her own, so Dad laid out flat and advanced across the ice on his stomach. He grabbed Puggi and slithered back to shore. He figured she saw light coming through the hole as the current took her down stream and she swam toward it. He took her home and put her in a hot shower to warm her up. My mother was appalled at the risk he took, I don’t think he thought twice about going out on that ice.

When have you come to the rescue?

67 thoughts on “Baboon Redux – Puggi Lives!”

    1. I had my car go bad up by grand marais and went to the next town where they had a 23 hour a day towing service. I asked the guy what the 23 hour service was all about. he said he always wanted an hour to enjoy his life as an option when someone’s emergency came up. he had come to the rescue if many north shore travelers.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. coming to the rescue is not my calling. I’m happy to help but just not there. I pulled a fish out of a castle it had gotten itself stuck in once but remember another time I allowed a fish to go to the corner and die (like they do) and later realized it may have been stuck.
    dogs cats squirrels birds grandmas and traumatized entities of the world all go elsewhere. maybe I’m just not paying attention


        1. Those castles have windows called, I think, Arrow loops, as they are desinged to disocourage arrows from being shot through the openings. That fish had to have a good eye for jumping just right to get in the window.


  2. Good morning. I have become very slow to give rides to people hitch hiking after picking up a guy who looked very scary once he got into my car. I don’t know why I didn’t notice his demented appearance before I let him into my car. I was glad that he only needed a short ride.

    I couldn’t resist picking up a guy hitch hiking late at night on a road without much traffic far out in the country. He didn’t give me any trouble. I drew the line when he said he would like spend the rest of the night camping in my back yard. Giving him a ride was okay. I didn’t want him sleeping in my back yard.


    1. Having hitch-hiked around England in the 60s, I feel guilty passing by hitch-hikers. I did, however, pick up a couple backpackers near Leadville CO in August. They were from Britain and spending a bit of time hiking trails and only needed a short ride to the top of Tennessee Pass. They were delightful company for the couple miles.

      The scariest hitch-hiker was a man who stepped in front of my car to stop me and then hopped in. He had spent the night in jail and needed to get to his car where they cops had stopped him for drunk driving.

      Rescues of sorts?


    2. i remember hitching one time through wisconsin and a guy told me if we were stuck his grandfatehr had the funeral home along the river and we could camp out there. dont ask just do it. so we did. it was a great spot.
      back in the old days, i was a demented hippy but i was welcomed. i was maybe a more articulate and social demented hippy than some but it was a different time


  3. I’ve rescued my roommate a couple of times. The first was when she lost her job, fell behind on rent, and was evicted. She got another job and found an apartment, but there was a month gap between the two living situations. I was cleaning out the house after my dad went into assisted living, so her cats stayed there. We set up an air mattress in the walk-in closet in my apartment, and she stayed with me until her new place was available. Unfortunately, a couple of years later, she got some horrible neighbors who partied all night, and I mean that literally (of course, the management company did nothing, no matter how many times the police were called). I had a bad neighbor of my own, so when a duplex apartment owned by acquaintances of mine became available, I convinced her that we should move in together. That was a real rescue, because the sleep deprivation was making her crispier than burnt bacon.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. boy i would think finding a way to quiet all night neighbors cuold be turned into a parlor game in todays online world. post prizes for creative ideas and successful/ unsuccessful attempts. remote controled burning dog poop explosions come to mind. scary sounds piped in through the wall to drive them nuts all day after their all night party. my brain salivates

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rise and Rescue Baboons!

    I spent several years of my early childhood pretending I was Annie Oakley. I had a red cowboy hat, toy six shooters and a stick horse. I spent my days galloping around town, in a spree of freedom kids no longer get to experience, rescuing pretend victims, aka my friends. As I recall Bad Guys in Black Hats and Savage Indians (give me a break–this was 1955-1958 and my activities reflected the Annie Oakley TV show) had captured most of these people for reasons unknown. Life was simple then.

    In real life as a Child Protection Worker I thought I was rescuing children. I am not sure what was worse, their abusive, neglectful parents or the system itself. But out of that experience I learned to write terrific court reports which behaviorally described conditions ( 18 month male toddler was playing on the floor where there were 3 dirty cloth diapers filled with feces, probably human–yes, really) and effective letters which documented attempts to intervene and intimidated defense attorneys.

    Some kids don’t have a chance, even with Annie Oakley on the job.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have great respect for the CPS workers I work with out here. I like your emphasis on the written word, because that is what judges need to make good rulings.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. I think most of the public is not very aware of the good work done by child protection workers and other social workers. Of course, there are some of these workers who who don’t always do a good job. It seems that the good efforts of child protection and social workers are seldom recognized and any thing they do that doesn’t turn out well is much more likely to come to the public’s attention.


  5. Ah, yes…but nothing so dramatic as pulling a dog out of an icy river. I’ve had a couple goat-head-in-the-fence rescues and at least one horse cast against a wall who couldn’t get her legs under her. Always a tricky task, but luckily I had recently read how to do it with a rope, pulling the under hind leg so she rolled over on her back and other side. (And too many old horses I couldn’t get up and rescue…they still haunt me.)

    Liked by 4 people

  6. When I was a kid and even more foolish than I am now I used to engage in lengthy fantasies about rescuing cute girls. The most common scenario had me diving into the street to push a girl to safety, usually resulting in me taking the hit instead of the cute girl. I don’t think i ever fantasized about what I’d do if a plain girl was about to be struck by a speeding car. Somehow, I can’t picture myself sacrificing my life to save a bratty or homely girl.

    I never got the chance to find out what I’d really do. The one time I saw a girl struck by a car I was too far away to do anything but groan.

    Baboons who are therapists might be able to dig into in this next bit. In these fantasies I usually pull back like a movie camera with the final shot being the dead hero boy (me) flying face down on the street. An admiring crowd would be ringed around. But here’s the part you wouldn’t expect. Looking down on the deceased hero would be two cops, older cops with timeworn faces. One would say, “Too bad this brave kid had to die.” The other would say, “You can tell he didn’t expect to die today, or he would have put on clean underwear.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Walter Mitty II.

      What I want to know is while you were having these fantasies, did you have the same expression on your face as Danny Kaye did in the movie?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Two baby squirrels, several kittens, and too many stranded people to count. I’m an inveterate rescuer.

    We’re off to Perry, Iowa for husbands 66th birthday celebration. Staying at the beautiful old Hotel Pattee for the night. having lunch with an old friend in Owatonna on the way there, and seeing another old friend in Mankato on the way back. Do we know how to celebrate or what?

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Animals: I once put Charlie the Cat indoors when I saw he was going to take out a baby squirrel while its mom was trying to move her brood from one nest to a hole in the big oak tree. That was satisfying.

    I can think of all kinds of fantasies I’ve had about rescuing people, but I never manage to do as much as I dream I will. I guess my way is just letting people know I’ll be there for them. Husband has rescued a sister a couple of times in various ways.


  9. My driver rescue stories are each interesting, each their own way. I think I have told them all. Three times truckers. Once it was at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Say about 1974-6. Two truckers stopped in front it my house, a bad place for a truck to pull over. His friend in another truck stopped behind him. They were home-bound for Mora. He blew a hose on the engine.They were big tankers. I got a classmate to open his parts store, which had closed at noon. We cut, fit, and jury-rigged a hose to fit in about 5 below weather. We had them on their way by 5. Sandy called their wives to let them know. That was fun. One of the truckers had a six-pack of Molson in his truck, he insisted I take. Molson is good stuff. They handed me 20 bucks for my gas and paying for the hose. They said they would be reimbursed for it. A couple weeks later I got a nice check from the trucking company, with no name on it because they got my address off the mailbox but we never exchanged names.
    A la Jim’s story I used to let bikers sleep in our back yard. Somehow a long-distance biker is just more trustworthy.
    I could have rescued animals in the woods as a child. But I let it just be, knowing that nature is “red in tooth and claw.”

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Morning all. I’m the go-to person for animal issues in my world: dogs, cats, a rabbit once and also bats a couple of times. Last weekend I was behind a woman at the grocery store paying w/ food stamps and she was coming up short for some frozen berries and a candy for her little girl (who was adorable). I paid for the berries and candy – I’m assuming that counts?

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Born rescuer here.

    Most recently on my way to deliver some work with the borrowed car.

    Saw 3 kids waiting for the bus. Suddenly the oldest has her hands to her face and is bursting into tears. They are all staring into the storm sewer. Of course I stopped.

    Yep, smartphone down the drain. I could not immediately think of how to get it out, so called the City. Told the kids to get on the bus and I would wait for the sewer guys and take the phone back to the home daycare at their grandma’s house down the block.

    Now I know, those grates aren’t bolted in and you can reach down in there with a flat hoe and lift a phone right out.

    The sewer guys were really nice about it, the grandma was a little baffled when I showed up at her door. Turns out the girl had just gotten that phone.

    My biggest hope is that those kids learned to not panic and do something foolish (like try to crawl down there), or at least don’t stand over a storm drain with something of value in your hands.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. On one of my programs a couple of years ago, a participant broke her arm as she tried to catch her phone that she had dropped on some marble stairs. Down she went! Mexico is not necessarily a place you want to go to the hospital if you don’t speak Spanish!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. The amazing thing is that ditzy grand daughter, who has a upscale Ipod not a phone, has in 1.7 years neither lost hers nor damaged it. She gets the phone at Christmas.
    We are today awaiting potentially bad news on our other grandson. Likely to be good news, but waiting.


    1. All was good news. Long story I will not bother you with. Did not inherit a spinal issue fro me. Does not have a spinal tumor. Just sort of an odd little boy in the way he moves.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. my 22 year olds feet connect oddly to his ankles I took him to the Chiro got foot inserts real pain. he runs funny
        then I saw wife’s mom

        same feet she runs funny too


      2. Everyone says he walks like me and like my son who walks like me and I walk like the grandfather who died before I was born. I have a very limited range of movement in many joints. A team doctor in Chicago said she was going create the term hypoextensive to describe me.


  13. We, on the other hand are hyper extensive. We are tall and kind of floppy. My children’s pediatrician was always worried that children had Marfan Syndrome, (what Abe Lincoln had), but since their wing span always matched their height, his worries were for naught.


  14. Well, I rescued my current cat, Oliver, when he showed up in my yard. He was sitting in wet snow under the compost barrel…the dog found him and tried to chase him away, but he refused to move. Being mostly white, I didn’t see him in his spot in the snow at first, but saw him the second time I looked to see what on earth that dog was barking at.

    Brought him in, warmed him up, fed him, tried to find his owner. But I think I didn’t really rescue him, but he came here to be my friend. So I suppose he is the rescuer, not me.

    Side note: the 2-year-old twins love the cat like crazy. We call him Ollie and you don’t know how funny it is to hear two little boys calling “Owwie, Owwie, Owwie” when they see him. In fact, I made the mistake of checking out a book from the library that had a cat on every page. Twin #2 went crazy, saying Ollie’s name repeatedly and vigorously pointing at the picture, to the point that nobody could read the book because he was all over it and wouldn’t stop yelling”Owwie” at every page.

    Liked by 5 people

  15. Birds, mammals of all sorts, bees, spiders, toads, inanimate objects. I hear the words “I think I can fix that” coming out of my own mouth way too often.

    I have a small cage that I usually keep in the car, big enough to hold a bird or a small animal, and have used it many times.

    Liked by 3 people

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