The animal thrashed with such force it felt like it would tear his arms from their sockets, but still, he pressed on.
The other men tried to close in from both sides as they all struggled to stop their feet from sliding underneath them in the slippery mud. They had been working for hours to try and free the frightened animal when suddenly, Jim let out a startled yelp. What had they done?
Jim Passmore lived in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma – a place known for its breathtaking lakes, forests, wildlife, and mountains.
Every day when he walked his dogs down by the creek, Jim considered himself lucky to live in such a wild place. But, one day, a casual stroll led him to stumble upon something he could never have prepared for.
Although Jim took his dogs for walks and hikes often in the beautiful area, they always followed the same route. They would walk down onto the path they had created over the years that ran alongside the creek.
But, just a few minutes into their walk, Jim noticed something strange the minute he and his dogs rounded the bend.
There was a strange object sitting in the long grass – in a clearing just off the path. As soon as his dogs caught wind of it, they let out a low growl and refused to move. Jim wanted to investigate and tugged on their leads, but they refused to let him move forward.
He looked down, startled to see that his dogs’ hackles were bristling. Something was very off about the whole situation.
Returning To The Spot
As much as Jim tried, his dogs refused to move. Knowing that they were going to make his investigation difficult and worrying that there could be something potentially dangerous up ahead, he decided to take them back home.
He took the dogs all the way back home, dropped them off, and raced back to the spot down by the creek. Just as the site came into view, he decided to proceed with caution.
Jim slowly approached the mysterious object that was becoming clearer with each step. At first, it looked like a big grey plastic box.
As he drew nearer, a terrible smell hit him – along with a strange revelation. It was no box – it was an animal crate. What was it doing out here? Jim cautiously peered inside and a chill raced up his spine.
Someone Had Done This
Inside was a filthy blanket and a heavy chain, but the door of the crate was open. Someone had chained something inside this box. Whatever it was, it had gotten out. Jim inspected the crate a little more closely and noticed a gigantic bite mark on one side.
Jim had heard stories of the illegal exotic animal trade in the area. He knew he had to leave. Whatever was in the crate could still be here. Just as he turned around, he felt something watching him.
Jim’s heart raced and his hands began to sweat. He felt the adrenaline kicking in as his body readied itself to fight or flee. He could feel something watching him from the trees.
He raised his arms over his head and yelled, trying to make himself look bigger. Suddenly, there was a rustle nearby and something emerged. He made eye contact for a brief moment, then it scrambled away. Something about this whole encounter was just… off.
Following The Beaver
The beaver that had scurried into the bushes was very odd, but something told Jim that he had to follow it. Why had his dogs refused to approach the crate? And now, why was there a beaver that seemed like it wanted him to follow it?
Jim walked after it. Strangely, it didn’t seem frightened of him. But where was it leading him? What did it want?
Down To The Bank
The beaver reached the bank of the creek and stopped. Jim felt his feet sinking into the soggy ground underneath him. There was nothing here but a dangerous mud trap.
What was he even doing here? His legs felt like lead as he turned to go back up the embankment. But then, he heard a strange sound.
It Was Moving
With a wet thrash, something large was moving. It was a brown mound in the water, just off the bank. It was clearly struggling.
Jim’s curiosity got the better of him as he rushed to see what it was, then he realized that it was an animal trapped in the mud. Jim didn’t hesitate. But he had no idea what kind of creature he was dealing with.
Common In The Area
After he had spent a few minutes studying it, Jim realized that the creature, just like the one who had led him there, must be a giant beaver. Beavers were extremely common in this area. It all seemed like it made complete sense to Jim now!
The poor creature, stuck in a mud trap, was unable to free itself. Jim rallied a few friends together, and they all got to work to save the beaver. But the group had forgotten one very important detail about the creature.
A Vicious Bite
This beaver was no different from any other beaver — they are incredibly territorial and have even been known to attack humans. As the rescue party approached, the animal lashed out and managed to bite one of Jim’s friends, to everyone’s alarm.
The man rushed to the hospital as there was a chance that the animal was carrying rabies. The remaining men remained to try to free the animal. Jim came up with an ingenious plan to avoid another bite.
Jim didn’t know how long the poor animal had been trapped for, and it obviously was feeling vulnerable and under a lot of stress. He decided that he had to cover the animal’s eyes, so he removed his jersey and wrapped it securely around the creature’s head.
The beaver struggled at first, but then it started to calm down. The men could now work faster around the beaver. But there was still one problem. No matter how hard they pushed, the animal wouldn’t budge.
A Difficult Situation
Jim and his team tried to dig around the beaver, but because it was half-submerged in the water, their efforts proved to be useless. They needed to devise a plan to somehow get underneath the animal and hoist it out.
Then, Jim realized exactly what they needed: a pulley system. So they got a rope, and Jim managed to tie it around the creature’s torso. They had hoped that this would work, surely? Then the team quickly realized that there was one enormous flaw in their strategy.
Encased In Mud
The beaver refused to budge and was well and truly stuck in the mud, no matter how hard the team pulled. Finally, after struggling for what seemed like days, they felt the animal start to move a little.
Spurred on, they pulled with all their might in one last massive heave, and finally, the beaver was lifted to safety. Jim, wiping the mud from its face, suddenly stumbled backward. This was no beaver!
Wiping Away The Dirt
As Jim wiped the mud away from the animal’s face, he stared in disbelief. There, underneath all the caked mud and dirt, was a quivering sheepdog. Instead of an aggressive beaver, they had been dealing with a frightened dog all along. Jim hesitated in amazement.
He had gotten it all wrong! And the most surprising thing of all: the beaver that had led him there had known what the animal had been all along, but had still returned with help. The dog was in an ok condition, despite having being stuck there for a while. This new information called for a different tack, as they couldn’t just release the dog into the wild as they would have with a beaver. Jim knew exactly what to do.
Jim called the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals immediately, and they quickly took the dog into their care. But the dog was incredibly wary of people, and this presented a problem.
The rescue organization would have to work long and hard to get him to trust humans again. The dog was named Teddy, due to his big and cuddly appearance. But the local vet had some bad news about Teddy.
The Vet’s Diagnosis
The vet advised that Teddy was suffering from a huge weight issue –The poor pup was diagnosed with morbid obesity. This was probably what had caused him to get stuck and unable to free himself from the muddy embankment.
Teddy’s weight was also putting immense strain on his joints, and he was not able to move easily. Additionally, the vet had a suspicion that Teddy had been stuck in the creek for days, which caused him to have a mild case of PTSD. Nevertheless, there was hope yet.
Hope For Teddy
Teddy disliked most people, but there was one special woman whom he had allowed to come close to him. The receptionist at the animal shelter would visit Teddy daily, and she had clearly made a lasting impression on him.
Then one day, she even allowed her to cuddle him without putting up a fuss. This new behavior gave the shelter workers hope for Teddy as it showed that he was becoming more used to people. They then decided that it was time to do something for him.
The shelter had decided that it was now time to start advertising Teddy as up for adoption.
They were slightly skeptical as Teddy was thought to be eight years old — a senior dog who may have a hard time getting adopted. But people were undeterred by Teddy’s age, and the public flocked to meet him. Ten months after his traumatic ordeal, Teddy found his forever home.