When 42-year-old Rich Wilcock went out fishing one day, he had no idea that his beloved cocker spaniel would become a hero.
It was an overcast day and the sea was rough on Criccieth Beach in North Wales, and Wilcock was taking photographs. Suddenly, his dog named Leia started being fussy and not her well-behaved, normal self. Leia was almost 2 and tended to be on the calmer side.
The slender white and brown cocker spaniel was not following her master’s orders and instead was going a different direction. He called to her, but she seemed to insist that he was to follow her.
“I was taking photographs with my back turned and Leia was going nuts and barking at me and going back,” he said, according to The Leader. “She doesn’t usually bark or make that sort of sound.”
But then he he understood.
Leia had found a baby porpoise, stranded on the rocks. It’s blowhole was huffing and puffing—it was still alive!
“Leia, it’s a baby! You’ve found a baby! Oh my, good girl!” Rich proudly complemented his puppy.
Unfortunately, his phone had no signal, and the sea was getting harsher. There was no possibility of contacting anyone. What should he do?
Rich, a fisherman who is well-experienced with creatures from the sea, decided that he would do everything he could to make sure this baby would live!
He was still holding his camera, but he immediately knew he would need both hands for this operation. He attached the camera to his jacket and talked calmly to the baby porpoise, a marine mammal that he had never before seen stranded anywhere.
“Come on, buddy!” He gently pushed the creature into the deeper water, but the baby almost seemed already too weak.
Rich then grabbed the porpoise with both hands—it’s skin was smooth and slippery. He pushed it forward two steps, but almost fell on the slippery rocks. Finally, the waves were covering the mammal, but it didn’t seem to be moving. Had Rich been too late?
“Come on, buddy!” he said again. Rich’s voice got more intense, and so got his pushes. Once, twice, three times he pushed, the salty spray getting into his eyes.
Suddenly, the little one’s tail started to move up and down, stronger and stronger. Rich was excited—the porpoise was swimming again!
But then a big wave rolled towards them and swept the baby back towards the rocks. Rich panicked now.
“Come on! Come on, mate!” He almost yelled in anger. That baby was not going to die! Not on his watch!
He waded deeper into the sea, acting as a companion to that lost soul, sending him back to the deep.
“That’s it, come on!” Rich felt that the porpoise was finally in deep enough waters—he had made it!
He could spot the tiny fin once more, and he saw it descend into the rough, grey sea. He and Leia were alone again.