LAKELAND, Minn. (WCCO) – A Lakeland dog is hailed as a hero. Goldendoodle named Gus rescued a small otter cub in St. Croix River. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville treated the puppy and said he is feeling much better.
“He’s a very kind, happy, goldendoodle,” said Gus’ owner, Cleo Young.
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Despite the wagging and kissing, it has been some tough years for 6-year-old Gus.
Young said he had a tumor removed, and during a routine follow-up earlier this year, staff at the University of Minnesota found another, which led to them amputating his hind legs.
“We thought, Oh, it’s going to be so sad he will not be able to run again like he used to, but this has not slowed him down at all,” Young said.
It was clear Easter Sunday when he ran into the cold St. Croix River. Young said her grandchildren Ella and Lucy saw him from the shore while watching him swim far out, apparently looking for something.
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He returned to shore with a small otter in his mouth, leaving it at the girls’ feet. Covered in sand, they washed him in the sink and hurried to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville.
“It was a kind of shocking trip because it closed at 6pm and we didn’t know if we would make it,” Young said.
The team at the WRC immediately went to work and breastfed the cold puppy back to health. They said that if Gus had not saved him, he probably would not have survived.
Gus has three more chemotherapy sessions left, but his fight for his life has not stopped him from saving another one.
“It was definitely an Easter Sunday we will remember for a long time,” said Ella Hammerstrand.
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The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center says the otter cub is too young to be in the water and should have been in the cave with its mother. He has since been transferred to another rehabilitation center for more care.