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A 17-year old Loris, South Carolina teen is alive today, and he owes it all to the family dog.
Jarad Johnson was using heavy equipment to dig a hole on the property where his family owns several homes. When he stepped down off the machinery, he slipped into a dark, 10′ deep hole and was quickly put in life-threatening danger as unstable soil caved in and ground water gushed forward, cementing him inside.
About an hour later, Jarad’s brother, Chris Cooper arrived home from work and opened the door to let his 2-year old pit bull mix, Tuxx outside. When he called Tuxx back inside, the dog began acting strangely.
“He was barking and fussing at me, wanting me to get up and go to the door,” Cooper told The Charlotte Observer. Thinking that his dog wanted to play fetch, he grabbed Tuxx’s ball and went outside. But, when he threw the ball, instead of racing back for another throw, Tuxx dropped it and took off running.
That’s when Chris realized something was wrong. He followed Tuxx who led him to 17-year old Jarad who, by now, was buried up to his chest in mud, with groundwater up to his chin and rising.
It took 50 rescuers more than 5 hours to free the teen from the trench using a vacuum truck, pumps, shovels and buckets before he was taken by medical helicopter to a hospital in Whiteville, North Carolina for treatment. Despite his ordeal, Jarad is now back at home, resting and recovering.
The family are thankful for rescuers in and around their community for coming together, not only to rescue Jarad but in offering support and prayers during the frightening event.
As for Tuxx, Chris says his heroic dog will be even more spoiled than ever now.