Patrick Mulligan was swimming off Joppa Flats last weekend when he became caught in strong currents. He wondered if he would ever see his sons again.
The dog jumped into the water and swam out to Mulligan. Mulligan was able to grab on to the dog’s life preserver handle. Mulligan said this likely prevented him from drowning in front of his two sons.
Mulligan had dropped anchor and was exploring some of the islands with his sons Ryan, 12, and Lucas, 9.
While his sons explored, Mulligan began swimming on his own during the height of high tide.
He soon found himself drifting from the boat and was about 30 yards from shore. When the boys realized their father was in trouble they commanded the Labrador dog into the ocean and save dad.
Vader sprang into action without hesitating and swam toward his owner.
“He did it flawlessly, he was very swift and sure in what he was doing,” Ryan said.
Mulligan was concerned that the Labrador would make things worse by climbing on top of him. Instead, the smart dog paddled within arm’s reach, allowing Mulligan to grab the handle of his life preserver. Vader than pulled Mulligan until he could touch bottom.
Mulligan said he was shocked that Vaderknew exactly what to do and did it without hesitation.
“It’s instinct; he’s not trained for it,” Mulligan said.
Hero Labrador Vader, who was named after Sith lord Darth Vader was well rewarded for his act of bravery and loyalty. When he got home, the Labrador received a huge, juicy steak bone.