Belgian Malinois are among one of the smartest and strongest dog breeds around. This type of canine is used for service work like search and rescue, personal protection, and tracking. A Belgian Malinois is also known for having high energy.
All these traits were contributing factors when a 10-month-old puppy found itself in an extremely dangerous situation while on a boating trip in Lake Michigan. Edward and Kristin Casas encountered mechanical problems while in the middle of the lake.
Kristin was at the top of the vessel, steering and her husband was in the bottom in the engine room trying to fix the problem. They both believed they left Rylee unattended for about ten minutes. The couple have been taking care of Rylee while their son Colin who owns it is away at college. The family made the heart-wrenching decision of calling, "mayday dog overboard," over the radio with the hope of finding Rylee alive.
Lynn Fiedor runs the volunteer group, Lost Dog Search Team. She was confident Rylee who is in the process of training to be a search and rescue dog would figure out a way to get to shore.
Fiedor notified local authorities like the Coast Guard, sheriff’s office, and park rangers to keep a lookout for Rylee. Fiedor also posted on the group’s Facebook page in case people ran into the pup. She also notified local fishermen to be on the lookout.
The next morning, a woman said she had seen Rylee at the Platte River Campground.
From the location Rylee fell overboard to where she was found, means Rylee swam over six miles and walked an additional 12 miles .
56-year-old Edward and 49-year-old Kristin drove to the campground to reunite with Rylee.
The couple brought Rylee’s food and toys with them while they marked their scent close to the truck they drove in.
Edward started squeaking one of Rylee's favourite toy to lure her to them.
It wasn’t long before Rylee came out of the woods to greet her humans.
Lost Dog Search Team
"Let me tell you, I'm not the kind of guy that cries but oh did this make me cry," explains Edward.
Edward is thankful Rylee was found safe and sound. They credit both the pup’s tenacity as well as Fiedor’s involvement as the reason they had a happy ending.
"Lynn is truly an angel walking on Earth with us — heart of gold, tenacity, relentless, loving and determined. … Just like Rylee," says Edward.
Fiedor does not want to take credit for the rescue. Instead she says it, “takes a village sometimes and the people in Benzie county came through.” From the fishermen, people sharing the post on Facebook and local authorities all wanted Rylee to be home safe and sound.
Lost Dog Search Team