Dog Near Death on River's Edge After Getting Stuck in Mud for Days. Then Brother Hears Cries, Saves Her


When a 13-year-old Labrador mix named Ginger went missing, her family was devastated.

The dog was suddenly nowhere to be seen, and after four days, her family could only assume she’d been stolen or had died.

Twelve years before, Brenda Osborne and her husband found Ginger as a stray and decided to adopt her.

The couple recently went away for the weekend, and before they left, they made sure to give Ginger and their three other dogs a treat.

But when they returned that Sunday, Ginger had disappeared. Brenda began searching for the dog, enlisting the help of her neighbors, among them her brother Darrell Perkins.

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“She’s the neighborhood dog; everybody loves her,” Perkins said.

But after searching all around the area, no one saw or heard anything. They couldn’t believe she was gone.

Five days later, Perkins was getting into his van to head to work when he heard it: something was howling down by the river.

He quickly walked along the bank of the river to investigate, following the sound until it led him directly to the source.

There at the edge of the river, stuck in the mud with a hurt leg, was Ginger.

“She had been there since Friday,” Perkins said. “I’m thankful that the river hadn’t raised a couple of feet, or she would have drowned.”

Perkins immediately contacted his sister to give her the good news.

“When he says, ‘Brenda I found Ginger,’ I still thought [something] had happened to her till he says ‘And she’s alive, found her on the riverbank,'” Brenda said. “I just couldn’t believe it. I could get nothing done at work, believe me.”

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Perkins knew he needed to act quickly after that, but the bank was much too steep and slippery for him to get down safely.  He eventually got a hold of his neighbor Mitchell McCoy and the Lawrence County dog warden Johnny Rickman to help him rescue Ginger.

Once Rickman arrived, he put on a harness and lowered himself toward the river. He carefully pulled Ginger out of the water and brought her back to safety.


No one knows how Ginger got down there, but her family is extremely thankful to have found her in time. The resilient dog was taken to the vet for x-rays, and is finally home recovering.

“Yeah it’s a miracle we got out in time,” Rickman said.

“Just a miracle,” Brenda agreed.

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Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
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