Heather Purcell and Rex, who was saved from drowning in an Aldergrove pool by a stranger. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: Rescuing Rex – how a stranger saved an Aldergrove dog from drowning

I’m not a hero or anything,” Lars Sveinungsen says

As Aldergrove resident Heather Purcell described how a stranger saved her beloved Jack Russell Rex from drowning, her voice got shaky and she had trouble talking.

“I thought I’d lost him,” she whispered.

On Sunday, the mother of three had taken the four-year-old dog to Jackman Ponds on 272 Street when Rex chased another dog’s ball into the water.

“It was quite a ways out for him,” she said.

“He’s not a great swimmer.”

She could see Rex beginning to tire as he swam back to shore.

Then his head slipped under the water.

That was when Lars Sveinungsen intervened.

He’d thrown the ball for his dog, a border collie named Faith, who is a strong swimmer.

Then he saw Rex struggling.

“I thought, oh, he’s in trouble,” Sveinungsen recalled.

The fully clothed Sveinungsen jumped in the water and brought Rex out.

“I didn’t think about it,” Sveinungsen said.

“It had to be done.”

Back on land, Rex took a couple of gasps for air, then stopped breathing.

“He was on his back and his little head just lolled back and his heart stopped beating,” Purcell said.

“He looked at me and he was gone.”

“You could see the glitter go out of his eyes,” Sveinungsen said.

Sveinungsen, who has occupational health and safety training, had just finished a refresher course a month earlier.

He gave Rex mouth-to-mouth, working to get him breathing again.

“The hardest part was maintaining the seal,” Sveinungsen said.

It worked. Rex came to, and other than extreme exhaustion, seemed just fine.

“I think anyone would have done the same, ” Sveinungsen said.

“I’m not a hero or anything.”

Purcell disagreed.

“It’s amazing when a stranger steps up,” she said, then had to stop talking again for a few moments..

She called Sveinungsen her dog’s ”guardian angel.”

After it was all over, he left before Purcell could get his full name or phone number.

Using social media, she managed to track him down Monday, to say “thank you” one more time.

As it turned out, Sveinungsen is also an Aldergrove resident and lives a few blocks away from her home.

By Monday, Rex seemed to be fully recovered, a bouncy, typical Jack Russell, pursuing a ball — or squirrel — in the family back yard with unbounded enthusiasm.

Purcell was preparing to take him to a vet for a just-in-case follow-up exam.

And when she and Rex return to the ponds, Purcell promises, her pet will be wearing a life jacket.



Just Posted

Promoting Langley City: new agency launches

Discover Langley City created in wake of split with Township

‘Hearties’ descend on Langley

Fans of TV show ‘When Calls the Heart’ have gathered in Langley for the Hearties Family Reunion

Surrey School District refuses to rent Bell Centre for Parents United Canada rally

Group is seeking court injunction to stop an LGBTQ program in public schools

Former U.S. Olympian urges audience at TWU to stay true to themselves

‘I made the decision to lie,’ says Marion Jones

Motocross kid takes torch from dad

The name ‘Charlton’ is synonymous with dirt bike racing

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Holy Heritage Rail Batman: Superheros come to Cloverdale historic train

The Fraser Valley Heritage Rail is hosting its third annual Halloween rail adventure Oct 28, 29

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

Most Read