Swansea Jack: Water Rescue
A general disclaimer. Before we get into the story swansea. Jack is remembered as a hero dog whose estimated to have saved nearly thirty people. Unfortunately we don't know the names of any of his rescue ease so throughout the script. Woobie referring to them. All with pseudonyms twelve-year-old Eugene's arms. Were getting tired and that was what really scared him. The currents tugged at his body. He wouldn't be able to fight them much longer. Eugene knew that if he swept out to sea he was gonna for sure just as he was about to lose hope Eugene felt something bulky and powerful brush against his back mustering what energy he could. The boy turned his head to see a dark body. Passed him in the water. Eugene racked his memory wondering if he'd ever heard of sharks hunting near north dock then a snout pressed into his neck and he felt a warm acceleration dog and it was swimming comfortably cutting through the current. Eugene had never seen this animal before but he knew it was trying to help him. He held still as he could while the canine bids his shirt collar. Then Eugene wrapped his cramping arms around the dog's tool so as it paddled back to shore. He took a deep breath comforted in the fact that he wasn't going to drown after all the dog. Swansea Jack had saved his life Welcome to tales a podcast original every week. We tell the stories of historic heroic canines. We'll profile dogs. Who SAVED PEOPLE FROM EARTHQUAKES? Went out space and even spurred the invention of Velcro if you're looking for funds stories and warm heart. You're barking up the right tree. I'm your host Alex Staff. You can find episodes of Dog Tales. And all other podcast originals. Free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream dog tales for free on spotify. Just open the APP and type dog tales in the search bar at podcast. We're grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how it doing. Reach ounce on facebook and Instagram at park cast and twitter at podcast network. This week. We're telling the story of Swansea Jack who saved the lives of at least twenty seven people and two dogs in the Welsh port town of Swazi. Not only did this brave. Canine repeatedly pulled drowning swimmers from the rivers in the bay. He overcame his intense fear of water to do it We don't know much about the beginning of Swansea Jacks Life. But he was born in nineteen thirty and for about six months he belonged to a man named Toll Fed Davies toll. Fed told people that Jack was in Newfoundland but he looked a lot. More like a black retriever. A dark colored flat coated cousin to the more. Well known golden retriever. He was smaller and lighter than most Newfoundland's but he was still a large dog with thick black fur and a ready smile given that Black Labrador retrievers originally from Newfoundland Canada tools. That might even have meant to say that Jack was from Newfoundland or maybe he just confused the breeds. Both the launch have similar coloring and easy going temperament their intelligence and desire to please makes each easy to train in short. Whatever kind of Dog Jack was he was sure to be a wonderful pets? Except tool fit. Live near Acog with a peaceful lake and jack loved to chase the ducks that nested there so much so that he was deemed more trouble than he was worth and found himself no longer. Welcome in toll fits neighborhood luckily toll. I knew a man named William Thomas who was in his fifties and didn't live anywhere near a peaceful lake or docile ducks. His hometown of Swansea was a blue collar. Reports community near the river. Tallies OUTLETS IN SWANSEA BAY. Most local families supported themselves loading and unloading goods at the dock. William was a holier for a living meaning. He helped transport shipments from the ports to their final destinations. His friends and neighbors were gruff workers. Nobody would mind rambunctious dog. So William Gladly took Jack in and gave him a new home. They lived in a converted. Stable just off of an abandoned shipping canal called North dock years ago. Swansea residents had constructed numerous manmade inlets including north dock. So ships could unload their wares right within the town's industrial neighborhood but by the early nineteen hundreds more channels were built including new cut. Prince of Wales dock kings and Queens dock as the shipping jobs. Move to the new facilities work. North dock dried up by the time. Jack arrived in one thousand nine hundred thirty locals. Use The inlets as a place to swim and play. The area was surprisingly quiet. Perfect for a peaceful stroll on warm summer days. So William Habitually took Jack for walks along the banks. The ONLY PROBLEM. Jack seeing terrified of the water he refused to chase sticks if he had to leave dry land to get them he shied away from quiet marshes each time. He and William even go close to the shoreline. Jack would press his is back and Tuck his tail between his legs. He was clearly scared of the inland. William wasn't sure where Jack's timidity came from maybe he'd had a bad experience during one of his duck chases in the past but it wouldn't do for the dog to be afraid of the river that practically ran through his own backyard. William Wanted Jack to have a happy life and that meant he had to get comfortable with the dogs. That were the lifeblood of Swansea. He had to learn how to swim. William tried to ease Jack into it. He took Jackson swimming hose where the water was sluggish. And shallow. He encouraged him to play with the kids in the water. He figured Jack would be bolder if he had other people in the river with him. William was only half right. Sure enough when Jack saw the boys and girls splashing in the water. He dive in after them. But Jack Wasn't playing one by one. He grabbed the children's shirts. Then drag them back to the safety of the shore. The kids must have found his antics obnoxious. They like to raise so see. Who could swim the farthest but they could only get so far before gentle teeth would close and drag them back out of the water. No one was breaking any records. When Swansea Jack was around to save the day no matter how anyone shouted or tried to kick away. Jack kept saving them against their will. But Jack was just too friendly and too eager to play online for anyone to be annoyed for long. He was still scared of the water but he was willing to go in to rescue people from. Its suppose. Dangerous most dogs naturally feel protective of the people around them. They often see humans as members of their extended pack so their safety is the dogs responsibility. Sometimes of course. A dog's vigilance is misplaced like when Jack tried to save children at the watering hole or when your pets valiantly box that the vacuum cleaner in both cases the frightened pup is just following its instincts to keep the family safe and these instincts a particularly powerful when the person in danger is a child. According to dog trainer Veronica Sanchez Newfoundland's in particular have been used as God talks generations. Their drive to protect children is literally parts of their DNA so it was only natural that Jack let to rescue the kids he believed wherein treacherous waters. William wasn't sure what to make of Jack's odd protective streak. He was encouraged. That the dog was at least braving the river for his mock recovery's so he kept coming back to the swimming hole. Hooping that one of these days Jack would dive after a child and realize he was actually having fun but six months past and Jack never lost his fear even after his first birthday past he kept on saving children. William Never realized that Jack's play rescues were Hertzel's for the real thing until one day around may nineteen thirty-one when they were on their usual walk along the waterfront. They left North dock. And we're passing the banks of the river tally. The Sun was warm and gentle breeze stirred the plants that dipped into the river ties currents the Brian e smell of salt gave the air and acidic. Tinge Jack Trotted along ignoring the seagulls that sorta overhead and the dragonflies that buzzed along the shore. Suddenly Jack stopped walking. The canines ears pricked forward. He heard something out on the water. William paused uncertain why his dog had ten stop. He scan the horizon and soon saw. What a Gotten Jack Attention. It was a twelve year old neighborhood buoy bobbing in the deep water. Eugene it seemed he'd fallen in or maybe he tried to go swimming but had gotten swept away in the current either way. Eugene was far from the shore. He barely splashed called for help at all suggesting that he may have been exhausted. William worried that Eugene didn't have the strength to breaststroke back to dry land worst of all the banks when nearly empty there was no one around to help and William didn't know if he could reach the boy before it was too late especially since he was fully dressed and couldn't reach eugene in his coats and shoes. Luckily William didn't need to start undressing Jack race to the edge of the river and dove in. The current here was swift than he was used to. But Jack cut through the water with powerful strokes of his paws William had never seen his dog paddle so quickly before but he still worried. Jack wouldn't be fast enough. Luckily Jack was well suited for the rescue as veterinarian. Dr Karen Becker Explains Almost all dogs regardless of breed instinctively know how to paddle when they hit the water this is particularly true for Newfoundland's and black retrievers both have waterproof coats and webbed paws. Both breeds evolved to be strong swimmers so even though Jack had never practiced in fast currents he navigated the river with ease in moments. He reached Eugene side just as he done in the swimming holes. Jack Bit the boy shirts and tugged him back to shore from where he stood. William could see the way. Eugene went behind Jack. He was too tired to do anything. The heroic dog had made it just in time by the time. Jack an eugene scrambled onto dry land again. William was at their side. He checked over the half drowned boy ensuring that he was okay. Once he was satisfied that Eugene would recover. William turned his attention to Jack. He was overcome with gratitude. This amazing pet had braved his greatest fear and saved a person's life. William couldn't even put into words how honored and happy. He was at Jackson Selflessness. So he settled on passing jacket on the head. And uttering the dog's favorite phrase. Good boy that night. Perhaps William gave Jackson extra-large dinner or played for an hour longer than usual. He surely thought he had to do something. He probably figured the events of that day had been a one off. A MIRACULOUS. Rescue deserved a special prize. He never could have anticipated that. Within the Year Jack would rescue a swimmer again. And again and again he'd soon have a reputation as a hero after this. Jack makes an even more daring rescue now back to the story in nineteen thirty Welsh dockworker William. Thomas adopted a six month old. Newfoundland all black retriever puppy Jack William trying to help Jack overcome his fear of water by teaching him how to swim but he inadvertently trained Jack to save drowning people. Instead and Jack put those lessons into use on Spring Day in one thousand nine hundred ninety one when he saves the life of a twelve year old boy who had fallen into the river. Although Jack's rescue filled William with pride he didn't tell anyone what had happened. He was a private man and he didn't feel right bragging about his dogs. Amazing bravery as for the rescued boy Eugene. He told anyone who would listen for weeks. He shot the story with his parents. His friends his teachers even workers at the corner shops but everyone shrugged his tail off. They figured he was just a kid. With an overactive imagination fertile. While it seemed like no one would believe the story of Jack's heroism other than Eugene and William. The truth wouldn't stay in the shadows along mere weeks off to that. I Rescue Jack and William once again out walking on a warm June day. Then they heard the call of destiny. We don't know who was the first to notice something wrong. Maybe Jackson is pricked up at the cries for help. Or perhaps William sold. The large crowds gathered at the riverbank pointing and shouting. It seemed that a man Ronald had gone swimming. But something had gone wrong. Maybe he'd overestimated his own aquatic abilities. He might have begun with the lazy dive in the Slow River only to get swept out into a dangerous swirling current either way. He was far from land with no rescue incite. Unlike the last time they were many people on the shore. They could all hear Ronald cries for help but nobody knew what to do if anyone jumped in after him they were liable to get sucked in by the currents and drowned as well but Jack didn't weigh his options. He leapt into action diving into the water and paddling straight out of the drowning man. William watched his dog. Oh his heart's racing. He'd Seen Jack. Save a boy once before. But that had been a short distance from the shore in relatively still waters. William didn't know if Jack was a strong enough swimmer or familiar enough with navigating treacherous currents to make it to Ronald William stood at the banks terrified that he was about to watch his dog drown. He tracked each League Zag each dip and crest his breath courts in his throat. Every time it looked like Jack might get pulled off. He watched as the Shaggy. Black head bobbed further and further out drawing ever nearer to the drowning man for a moment the canine disappeared beneath the waves. William felt his eyes. Well Up. Jack had been pulled under but then Ronald jerked oddly. Like he was being tugged from behind a moment later shaggy is and a long snout breached the water. It was jack with Ronald Shirt clenched in his jaw. William whoops with excitement. The other people cheered while Jack. Swam back to shore tugging Ronald along soon enough. Mannion dogs scrambled back up the river. Banks a crowned descended on them ensuring that Ronald was alive. And well if a little southern and shaking up William Wraps Jack in a big hug he once again assured the dog that he was a very very good boy others gathered around. They all wanted to pet the hero dog and of course the crowd wanted to hear all about him and what had led him to save a man's life as people shouted questions. William found himself explaining everything how he adopted Jack How he taught him to swim and most importantly how this wasn't the first time jackets save someone. The tail only made the locals even more excited. Jack was more than a hero. He was a guardian angel watching over the town. In the following years Jack only continued to solidify that reputation. He has an incredible knack for being at the right place at the right time whenever people would slip and fall into the river or a swimmer would get dragged out by the current. Jack seem to be walking or playing nearby and you always rose to the occasion diving into the water and rescuing drowning person. It probably didn't hurt that he lived so close to the water's edge. Or that William Liked to let Jack Walk. Without a leash. That meant Jack was almost always close. Enough to hear worrisome splashes or cries for help according to Swansea records as of nineteen thirty five. Jack had rescued at least ten people from the waters of the river. Tally and its numerous man made channels but the totals may have been even higher after all. William didn't like to brag about his friend. Jack was so prolific. He actually became a source of controversy. Some Swansea residents thought. It was two convenient that he was always around when a person was drowning they even accused. William of staging the rescues but Williams close friends. Never believe those rumors for one thing. He was incredibly humble about Jack's heroism. He didn't tipoff the papers. When a person got saved it was other people witnesses and rescue east who spread the news as for the unusually high number of people who needed help that was to be expected in a shipping hub like Swazi. Most of the local men worked on the docks. One misstep away from plummeting into the chilly waters below slips and falls were common as were the tragedies that struck when Jack wasn't around this didn't silence the critics though they once even satisfied after Jack engaged in one of his most inexplicable rescues as usual it began when Jack and William will on a walk. They've crossed North dock and the landmass called the island. Now they strolled past. The canal called new cuts at high tide. The air was still even the local. Birds said quieted William could only hear his own footsteps. And the clicking of Jack's close against the sidewalk until the clicking stopped William paused and looked behind him. Jack stood tents on the alert. By this time William was use to Jack's bouts of heroism but he was still confused. He didn't see anyone in the water he couldn't even make out any bubbles or waves west someone might have gone under. Jack was acting like he was about to rescue a swimmer but nobody seemed to be in trouble. William tried to call Jack to his side but the dog didn't obey instead. He raced down to the water but he didn't paddle across the surface instead. He plunged deep. So Deep William couldn't see where he'd gone after several tense moments. Jack reemerged with something in his mouth. But it didn't look like a person's shirt William ran to the river's edge to Pat Jack's head and investigate only when he wiped away the heavily matted mud did Williams see that Jack had pulled a shivering waterlogged but still breathing caucus spaniel out of the water. Presumably it had gotten mired in the mud at low tide and then had been submerged when the currents came in. William couldn't even imagine how Jack could have known that the Spaniel was at the bottom of the river but one small. He was grateful for his dogs. Quick Thinking and action and the rescues just kept piling up by nineteen thirty seven. Jackets saved an estimated. Twenty seven people and two dogs from the waters of river tally and the docks of Swazi. He was such a beloved local hero. The people in his community had taken to calling him Swansea Jack. His picture was in the papers. The town council presented him with an Honorary Silva Kulla perhaps most impressively swansea. Jack won the bronze medal from the Canine Defence League. An honor granted to Roic dogs. Who helped save human lives and he won it twice. Swansea Jack is the only double honoree in the entire history of the award. Every day. He made the people around him feel safe but unfortunately the community wasn't able to protect him from danger and tragedy was looming on the horizon in nineteen thirty seven. Jack was going to face his biggest challenge yet and nobody would be able to save him up next. Jack Develops a mysterious illness now. Back to the story in the Nineteen Thirties. A big black dog named Swansea. Jack became famous throughout Wales. He saved an estimated twenty seven people and two dogs from the treacherous waters of river. Tally and the manmade inlets branching off it. According to rumors he wants even pulled a sack full of puppies from the treacherous river. Jack was a beloved local celebrity. His fame meant that his own Williams life improved to. He enjoyed the reputation boost that came from being associated with the beloved trusted pet. This probably helped him make important business contacts. He moved away from the rough neighborhood near north dock and into the much fancier Victoria Hotel but wall man and dog lived away from the water. They still took plenty of walks and jack saved plenty more people. Since Jack was only seven years old William believed that he had many more years of daring rescues and honors ahead of him which was why he was so baffled. One day in Nineteen thirty seven when Jack refused to get out of bed even go on a walk or play. A Jack seemed tired all the time. He wouldn't eat William Maynes an appointment with the local vet and the examination bro. Bad News Jack. Had eaten rat poison and it was already making his organs shutdown. Sadly it's quite common for pets. To accidentally ingest has poisons they might get into a small box was left out for vermin or catching eats a rodent right after. It vowed the toxins according to the pet poison help line. Dozens of dogs consumed poison every day. Luckily today vets have numerous treatments. That can save a dog's life but in nineteen thirty seven. All William could do was watch as Jack deteriorated. It was too late to help him. William could only do his best to make Jack comfortable before the end after several long. Painful Days Swansea. Jack closed his eyes a final time on October. Second Nineteen thirty seven. The hero dog was gone forever. It was a tragedy not only for William but for all the people of Swazi they all grown to love and rely on the hero dog. Nobody wants it to accept that he could just die especially in such a preventable way and they wanted someone to blame. Whoever had left the deadly toxins out whether Dole could find it would have to pay the Canine Defence League. Offered a twenty five pound reward for any information about how? Jack might of being exposed to the poison. That's the equivalent of roughly two thousand dollars today but nobody came forward to claim it as is often the case. When the beloved celebrity dies there was some conspiracy theories that Jack had been poisoned on purpose. It was easier to believe that some criminal mastermind had murdered Jack than that. It had all a horrible accident. Perhaps the killer was convinced the rescues fake or they didn't like the wells of attention given to a dog some of these conspiracy theories still circulate online today but it was most likely simple. Tragic accident just like falling into a river with no hard evidence. The city had no one to blame so they focused on morning instead. William Berry Jack in the garden outside his house perhaps he hopes that the dogs spirits would linger in the neighborhood keeping watch over dockworkers and swimmers on their way to the water. But the people of Swazi wouldn't stand for that. A newspaper campaign called for a more public grave so locals could visit him and pay their respects whenever they wanted. Thanks to an upwelling of local support on October twenty first. Jack was reburied on Swansea promenade. But even that owner wasn't enough. The mayor. Swansea had public memorial commissioned. It was erected over Jack's grave and dedicated nearly one year after his death on Saturday October. First Nineteen thirty eight. The memorial was the first of many changes in Swazi in the late twentieth century. North talk was paved over in favor of shopping facility. The people of Swansea don't need Jack to save them from drowning anymore but they didn't forget about the brave dog that once walked and swam among them in fact they continue to find new ways to honor and celebrate him. A local pub was dubbed Swansea Jacks in remembrance of the brave Canin well storyteller. Carl Gov gave regular oral retailing's of Jack Story in order to preserve the traditions around the dog and that local soccer teams fans were dubbed the Swansea. Jacks although the League has never confirmed where the term comes from it's widely accepted then named after the heroic canine. In addition other dogs have followed in Jack's footsteps. The first formally trained search and rescue dogs appeared in World War. Two where brave? Canine helped search for survivors after battles today. Aquatic breeds especially Newfoundland's retrievers undergo rigorous training to learn how to pull drowning swimmers out of treacherous waters. And they learn much in the same way that Jack did water. Rescue dogs begin by familiarizing themselves with Docs votes peers and other areas near water. Then they learn to swim and rescue people and calm easy pools and eventually they graduate to more challenging situations trainer. Ellie Bedford has noted that Newfoundland's in particular a suit to rescue because of their large frames and great strength. She observed no human can do what these dogs can do. I'm a lifeguard myself and I would struggle to toe to people whereas these guys can pull in ten people at ease given how valuable water rescue dogs can be modern groups in the UK like the new found friends of Bristol. Train them to be just as brave heroic as Jack. Speaking of the new found friends of crystal in two thousand. They dubbed Swansea Jack. The dog of the century and in two thousand eight Welsh artist. Richard Hignett composed a song for Jack a musical piece performed by a choir of baying and howling dogs. The Canine Corral debuted in Swansea. That year. Swansea Jack Lives on as a local legend. If you visit Swansea today you can take a Selfie by his memorial. Join other jacks rooting for the local soccer team. And then check out any number of art exhibits honoring the Canine and it's no wonder he so widely on it. It's likely that many modern day swansea residents are descended from one of the twenty seven people. Jack pulled from the water in the nineteen thirties. In essence. Much of the town still has jack to thank their lives Thanks for listening to dog tales. For more information about Swansea Jack. We've found the work compiled by Welsh local. Call Goff especially helpful to our research. Every dog has his day and our day is Mondays. We'll be back then with a new episode. You can find more episodes of tales and all other podcast originals for free on spotify not only despite defying already. Have all of your favorite music? But now spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite podcast originals like Doug Tales for free from your phone desktop all smart speaker to stream docked tails on spotify. Just open the APP and type dog tales in the search bar and don't forget to follow us on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at Parkas network. Join US next time for another good story about a good dog. Dog Tales created Max Cutler and is a Parka studios original it is executive produced by Max Cutler sound designed by Michael Langston with production assistance by Ron Shapiro Collie Madden Aaron Larson and Joel Stein. This episode of tales written by Angela Jorgensen with writing assistance by Maggie Admire. I'm Alistair murden.