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Rescue Reveals Tragedy
Kayaker pulls traumatized dog out of water
Barney Vizsla rescue kayak fisherman
Barney, a Vizsla, was out jogging with owner Donna Chen when she was fatally struck by a drunk driver.

A fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico was shocked when a dog appeared beside his kayak, far from shore. In this video, you can see him pull the Vizsla to safety and comfort the shivering canine. At first, he thought the dog was cold but after seeing bleeding cuts, he realized the dog was traumatized.

The mystery was solved when the kayaker heard on the news that a woman, Donna Chen, had been struck and killed by a drunk driver while walking her dog Barney. Barney had no tags on his collar. But when the kayaker brought him to the vet, he was scanned for a microchip. It was this microchip that allowed Barney to be reunited with members of Chen's family.

Does your dog wear tags at all time? What information is on yours? What about a microchip?


Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.


Dan Wagner/Sarasota Herald-Tribune

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Barbara | January 10 2012 |

All of my dogs are chipped and all wear tags. They say "Reward" and my phone number. I also have a PetQR tag that the finder can scan with their smartphone and instantly see my information and a picture of the pup to confirm.

Submitted by Asia | January 12 2012 |

my dog has a chip and a tag that says she has a chip a name and phone # tag a rabies tag and a adoption tag from the place i adopted her from i cant imagine what the family is going through and what poor barney went through:(

Submitted by NewPuppyMom | January 10 2012 |

When we get a dog we get he or she chipped and they must wear tags when not being bathed. It'd be great if the frequencies or scanners could be standardized to make it more worth while. A tag saying the dog is chipped is only good if the tags are on!

Submitted by Jenny | January 10 2012 |

Our new pup has his tag with my name and cell phone number, his 'Home Again' chip, his 'Trupanion' tag that has the number to our pet insurance and his ID number so in the off chance he got away and got injured, he'd be treated by any vet....

Submitted by Deborah | January 10 2012 |

I am so glad that this kayaker was in that particular spot at that exact moment. Poor Barney must have felt fear like I can't even imagine to have run and run and then kept going into the water. I'm so glad he was chipped so that at least he can be with people he knows.
I had heard about the accident in another article, but thought it was an auto accident--didn't realize they were walking when hit. Not that it makes it any less horrible.
My dogs are all chipped. Unfortunately, my smallest has been missing since mid-July, and someone is keeping her. I've even had a couple phone calls from the guy who says he's afraid his kids will be upset with him if he gives her back to me, but he knows what he should do. I haven't been able to track him down even though he gave me a name and a town because his ph# was blocked and there seems to be no updated address for him anywhere--even the Sheriff can't locate him. I can only hope that someday she gets taken to the vet and they will scan her and I'll be notified.

Submitted by shirley zindler | May 4 2012 |

As an animal control officer I have seen many animals make it home that never would have without tags and a chip. Tags are what the average person notices and the chip is a great back-up if the tag is lost. I've seen animals returned to owners after 12 years or more.

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