We've all heard tales of the enduring loyalty of man's best friend, and now one dog has proven just how far that unwavering dedication can truly go.
Last Sunday, Edward Casas, 56, was boating with his wife Kristin Casas, 49, on Lake Michigan when they encountered a mechanical issue. While he was down in the engine room sorting it out and Kristin was busy steering the boat, it seems their 10-month-old Belgian Malinois, Rylee, accidentally fell overboard.
"Our hearts just sank," Edward told ABC News. "We were gone for maybe 10 minutes, and
then we couldn't find her anywhere on the boat and she was nowhere to be
seen in the water."
They immediately put a mayday call over the radio and contacted the local sheriff's office, park rangers, Coast Guard, and a local rescue organization called Lost Dog Search Team. By that evening, they still had no clue of her whereabouts.
The next morning, they received a call from a woman who said she had seen Rylee at a local campground. Rylee swam over six miles and trekked over 12 miles through the woods to get back to her family.
The couple drove out to the campground on a truck borrowed from a local harbormaster, and the woman who runs Lost Dog Search Team, Lynn Fiedor, told them that the best way to find the pup was to mark their scent around the truck, then lie down with Rylee's food and toys.
It only took one squeak of her favorite toy for the puppy to charge out of the woods and leap into the arms of her humans. A lot of happy sobbing ensued.
"Let me tell you, I'm not the kind of guy that cries... but oh did this make me cry," Edward said.