A Tale of the Riverbank

When we lived in England, we lived near a river. It only took us about half an hour to walk to it from home and going there was one of my favourite walks.

This particular day, it had been raining a lot. When we arrived at the river, we could see it was flowing very fast and was a muddy colour. It was usually only a foot or so deep, but it was probably about six feet deep on this day.

My biped said it was flowing too fast for me to swim and so she kept me on a very long lead. This meant that I had enough freedom to clamber down and get my paws wet, as there were some ledges on the banks. But if it looked as though I was getting too enthusiastic, she would call me and give a tug on the lead and stop me.

My biped was standing near a large bend in the river where there was an area at the bottom of the bank that was normally above the water. She was a few yards from the edge of the river. Suddenly she vanished!

I went trotting back to where she had been and discovered that the riverbank had collapsed and she was lying at the bottom of it with her feet in the river. I immediately went down to see if she was okay. I stuck my face in hers and she spoke to me and sat up. I nudged her a few times and she stood up. She turned and looked at the bank. It was a climb of about twelve feet – a mess of loose earth and mud. She started to climb, but she didn’t get far before she slid back down. I ran up the bank to show her how easy it was and came back down and nudged her gently before running up it again.

She said, “Thank you, Clowie! Perhaps this is one of those occasions where four legs really are better than two.”

She again tried to climb the bank. She was grabbing at plants with her hands, but they all just pulled out of the wet soil and she just slid back down. She turned round and looked at the river. She looked at the banks in both directions. She couldn’t get to a better place to climb up without going into the river and it was a cold day. The nearest tree overhanging the river was about twenty feet away, so she would get very wet and cold.

I went down the bank and ran back up it to show her that she just needed to try a little bit harder and she could climb the bank where she was. I stood at the top looking down at her, hoping that she would get the idea. It worked because I could see she suddenly had an idea. She called me to her. When I got to her, she looped the lead around my chest making a sort of harness. She held onto this and said, “Clowie, up!”

I stood and gave her my puzzled look. That command made no sense at all. Up is what she says to me when I’m playing in the river on a nice day and she wants me to return to her at the top of the bank. She thought a bit more and then she leant over next to me and pointed to the top of the bank and said, “Go!”

Now I thought I understood. We used “go” at obedience classes when she wanted me to head to where she was pointing. So I tentatively started to climb the bank. She excitedly said, “Yes, go, go!”

I climbed harder, but it was much more difficult this time. She was holding onto the harness she’d made and pulling her weight made my paws slip in the mud. She encouraged me and I dug my paws into the mud and made it to the top of the bank. She asked me to “go” a little farther and she hauled herself onto the top of the bank on her hands and knees. She flopped down and rolled over and I went and gave her a lovely cuddle.

She said, “Clowie, you’re such a clever girl. You’ve saved me from getting very cold and wet today.”

I was really pleased to discover that there was a practical application for at least some of the theory I’d been learning at obedience class!

We walked home a little slower than usual – we were both quite tired. When we arrived the male biped was looking out for us and was surprised to see how muddy we both were. When he heard about our adventure on the riverbank, he told me how proud he was of me. It’s always nice to hear that my bipeds appreciate me and they left me in no doubt that evening!

See you next Wednesday!


  1. Clowie this is a beautiful post! You are a hero in our eyes! We hope you got extra treats that day.
    Bella and DiDi

  2. Well done Clowie! Your humans must have been so proud of you! 🙂

  3. Wow, that’s awesome! What a heart-warming story; it brought tears to my eyes. Well done, Clowie!

  4. Wow, Clowie! That must have been a bit scary for your Mum, but how brave of you to rescue her. You are quite the hero!!

  5. Foley Monster and Pocket

    You are a hero. You saved your Mom. We are so proud of you. Can we please have a paw a graph

  6. We’re sure your humans are very proud of you! You deserve a gold medal for all your bravery and courage. You are a hero dog!!! Purrs and headbonks xx

  7. Clowie, you are one awesome dog to help your biped like that! You deserved some extra treats for that!

  8. Wow, Clowie, that story was amazing!! What a smart and hero-like pup you are!! I must say, your bipeds are very lucky to have you in their lives! But I think, next time you have to save one or the both of them….you should have a cape on (much more dramatic effect!)! 😀

  9. wow, Clowie! That is an awesome story! You are very smart!

  10. It’s good to know you look out for your Mom and Dad just as much as they look after you! You’re a genuine hero, Clowie! Such a great story and a fabulous happy ending!! Watch over those bipeds. You know we tend to be a little bit accident-prone. Much love, The Scottie Mom.

  11. Clowie you are AMAZING!! You saved your Mommy!! You deserve as MEDAL!! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  12. Clowie you’re a super dog! What a good job taking such good care of your family! I bet you got extra treats that night 🙂

  13. You are a very smart girl to figure out what your person meant. The slippery river bank is a very different place than obedience school. Good job.

    • You’re right – it is very different. It was also very strange when my paws started sliding and it was so much harder to get up the bank that it had been on my own. They were very proud of me!

  14. Clowie, we are really proud of you. You are a real heroine. Many peeps drown in rivers, and it doesn’t take much water. That was a scary story and we’re happy it had a happy ending. We give you points on this one. No kitty could have done that.

  15. Clowie, you are a hero! You should get a medal of honor… Or at least a big steak for your bravery. Wow… What an example of loyalty you set for us canines!

  16. Clowie your such a clever and good dog! Mine could learn a lot from you so do you give lessons lol.

    Hope your biped is ok after that though and leaving you one of haz’s chew sticks but don’t tell him 😉 x

  17. Your biped was so lucky you were there! What would have happened if she’d been all on her own? Your are a super heroine Clowie! A very brave and clever girl 🙂 Who knows what might have happened to your unfortunate biped had you not saved the day!

  18. Hey Clowie, Jet here.

    You’re a heroine! You helped your biped big time that day. Brava! We worried reading the story until we felt like you were going to save the day. Phew…

  19. Good job, Clowie! Glad to hear your biped wasn’t injured in her fall. That must have been pretty scary, to have the bank drop from under her like that. Good thing she had you!

  20. I always love a happy ending. That story was frightful. My gosh, what if you hadn’t been there? I’ll think twice before getting too close to a riverbank forever more…I don’t have a smart and beautiful furry friend with me on my walks. You must have been so happy to get all those hugs and bravo’s (and maybe an extra treat?)! Way to go Clowie.

    • My biped is more careful about riverbanks after the rain now. She thought she had left a safe distance. You’re right, I had a lovely time that evening – they were so proud of me!

  21. Wow – you should get a job as a rescue dog, you could be famous, they could make films about you. You are amazing. I couldn’t pull anything up a muddy slope, in fact, I’d need help!

  22. You really are a clever girl Clowie, and such a sweetheart!! Good work rescuing your Mom, she must be so thankful, and we are all so proud of you!

  23. My goodness Clowie, what a very good girl you are! Your biped is so very lucky to have such a smart girl in their presence!! Congratulations on a job well done!

  24. wow, what a terrific story, loved it!

  25. You’re a HERO, Clowie! What a great story – we loved hearing it! And it’s great to “meet” you – thanks for stopping by the blog!
    Play bows,

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