Saving a Dog From Drowning: Golf Marshal Adventures

Five years ago today I saved a dog, Buster, from drowning. Here’s what I wrote that night:

I’m so pumped. I saved this dog. It was trapped in the big lake between #6 and #14 on the Black Jack golf course and couldn’t get out. Brigitte Gramstat Griffith and her husband Pat, were playing golf next to the lake and heard it yelping. They waved me down as I was driving on #16 towards the retention lake.

Exhausted, he approaches edge.

I climbed up on the hill and could see the dog swimming in the middle. So I drove along the edge to the side closest and least difficult to rescue from. The lake has very slippery lined slopes.

I radioed the Clubhouse to have someone bring an extension ladder because I thought that would be my only access to save him. I scurried around the trees and brush while whistling to coaxed the dog toward my direction.

Serendipty kicked in as he made it to where it was shallow enough for him to catch his breath. As I approached I found some cord tangled on some branches. At this point, I looked up and saw more golfers lined up high across the lack. Too busy to notice before, they were yelling me on. Whew, was I glad to unravel the cord.

Fair Oaks Ranch, northwest of San Antonio.

No way I would let him drown. He was facing me so I’d have to rope his whole body in by getting it all the way around him. On my 12th attempt was able to loop it around his rear and hind legs. When he made it to shore he knocked me down, jumped on top of me…wouldn’t stop licking. It was emotional.

About this time Christopher Godwin drove up with a ladder. A beverage cart girl also arrived. Chris looked on his tag. His name is Buster. Owners came to Fair Oaks Ranch Golf Club to pick him up.

The owner and I are now Facebook friends. This is what I wrote her:

“Mrs. Tisdale, it was good for my soul. I keep thinking about the look in his eyes and I blurted out ‘Don’t you worry, you’re gonna be alright.’ I think talking to him calmed him down and he quit thrashing and yelping. That’s when I figured out he was a swimmer. So he followed me to a point the slope wasn’t as steep… To a point I thought I may be able to reach his collar and pull him out. But I couldn’t. It was just too slippery.”


“He tried, but kept sliding in. At least he was in shallow enough water to stand near the edge and not have to thrash. This gave him time to rest while I found the rope. After about 12 tries, the loop went around his hind legs and that was enough.”

“I remember grinning, but being afraid he might bite. No way. He jumped on me and knocked me backwards and licked my face. I just started laughing and held him. Then he got off and started walking away but sliding down. I went to him and he shook the water off and then followed me up the dirt berm and brush to the top and over.”

“That’s when I called on the radio ‘I’ve got the dog.’ Chris drove up with a ladder we were going to use and I asked him to take my picture when I read his name tag that his name was BUSTER. I called out the phone number to Chris who called you. The beverage cart girl drove up as Chris left to take Buster to the golf shop. She told me people kept trying to call me on the radio, but didn’t even hear them after I started looping him with the rope. Anyway, I love dogs. Have written many articles about them and I’m so very happy Buster is back home with his loving family tonight. Give him a hug for me.”

I learned Buster loved to go swimming in the family pool with their young daughters. For some reason he escaped from the backyard yard a few miles away from the golf course. We surmised that when he saw the lake he jumped right in!

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Texans Jack & Dodie View All →

Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Music
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Actors
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Space Explorers
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
Notables
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.

As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.

He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.

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