Facebook | Jeannie Schrage Wilcox

Dog Rescued 4 Miles Offshore Has Heartwarming Reunion With Owners

A West Michigan family out for a leisurely weekend boat ride were shocked to find a dog swimming all by herself in the middle of the lake — nearly four miles from the shore.

As WOOD-TV reported, the Wilcox clan rescued the treading pup from the waters of Lake Michigan, and then set out to reunite her with her owners.

On August 7, Jeannie Wilcox and her family embarked on a 12-hour boat ride from Grand Haven to Frankfort.

Facebook | Jeannie Schrage Wilcox

About 8 hours into the lengthy trip, she caught sight of something furry swimming in the water near their vessel.

“I see this red animal in the lake and I started screaming, ‘Dog in the water!'” she recalled to WOOD-TV.

Incredibly, the dog was found nearly four miles from the shore, and Jeannie suspects she had been treading water for an hour before the family found her.

Facebook | Jeannie Schrage Wilcox

“We brought her up on our swim platform really easily," she explained. "We dried her off. She was obviously scared and cold."

There were no other boats in sight for the family to wave down and inquire about the dog, so they decided the best course of action would be to take her with them and locate her owners once they reached shore.

For the last four hours of their trip, the reddish-brown pup was a passenger aboard the Wilcox's boat.

Facebook | Jeannie Schrage Wilcox

In an interview with WTCM 480 News, Jeannie explained they had originally planned on taking the dog to a vet to have her scanned for a microchip, until they realized her microchip number was actually etched into a tag on her collar.

That way, they were able to simply call the pet chip registry to get in contact with the dog's owners themselves.

That night, the dog was reunited with her family at a marina in Frankfort, several hours after she was found treading water.

"Their reaction was very surprised," Jeannie said of the moment the owners got back their dog. "They were happy and so grateful."

They told the Wilcox family that the dog, whose name is Vayla, is actually 10 years old, making her hour-long tread in the water even more incredible.

So naturally, the big question on everyone's mind is: how the *heck* did this pup end up in the middle of Lake Michigan all alone?

Facebook | Jeannie Schrage Wilcox

As it turns out, Vayla and her owners were on a sail boat heading South on Lake Michigan when she fell off the vessel without them noticing.

"[The owners] said she likes to ride on the bow and kind of pets the waves," Jeannie explained. "I can totally see how she would accidentally just... roll over [into the lake]."

Thankfully the Wilcox family was there to scoop the poor pup out of the water and reunite her with her family again!

h/t: WOOD-TV, WCTM 480 News Photos: Facebook | Jeannie Schrage Wilcox

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