CRYSTAL BEACH, ONTARIO
Kacey, an eight-year-old Labrador cross who was six-years-old at the time this incident took place, lives with her owner Ken Jessop in Crystal Beach, Ontario. Known around the small community as “Mama Dog” for her overly nurturing behaviour, Ken rescued Kacey when she was eight weeks old, after she’d already been returned three times by other families who didn’t want her. Ken feels that she was returned so many times because she was meant to come into his life.
It was a beautiful day on August 28th, 2019. Ken went to the beach situated on Lake Erie with Kacey as he does nearly every day to have a swim. He noticed the wind was starting to pick up, so he decided to sit in the shallow water of about six inches, with his back to the water, so he could watch Kacey on the beach. Out of nowhere, a massive rip wave from an invisible undercurrent overtook Ken and dragged him more than 100 feet into the suddenly violent water. He was thrashing and swallowing water, unable to find his footing or his way to the surface.
As he struggled, choking on the water and unable to see anything but the thrashing waves, he reached out his hand and grabbed a hold of something hard. At the time he wasn’t sure what it was, but he knew he needed to hang on. It turned out, he had grabbed the handle of the ‘shark’ life jacket on Kacey. She had swam out 100 feet at lightning speed through the crashing eight foot waves to save her dad. Kacey guided Ken back to shore while he hung on to her life jacket. If Kacey hadn’t jumped (or swam) into action, there is no way Ken would have made it to the surface, let alone the shore to safety.
If it wasn’t for Kacey, Ken would not have survived this terrifying event, and to thank her for saving his life, Ken got his fur hero a huge steak for dinner that night. Kacey is now no longer known as ‘Mama Dog,’ but the ‘Lake Erie Lab Shark.’ Ken knows that without her, he wouldn’t be here today. For her selfless and heroic act, Kacey is now an inductee in the Purina Animal Hall of Fame.