Great Pyrenees dog swims Columbia River multiple times in search of his owners

Jasper a Great Pyrenees dog turns up exhausted after crossing the Columbia River multiple times. Photo: Steve Smith.
Jasper turns up exhausted after crossing the Columbia River multiple times. Photo: Steve Smith.

The story takes place in and around Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada, which is just over the border from Washington state in the USA. The Columbia River at that point is quite large (see photo below). To cross it would take some effort and Jasper, a Great Pyrenees dog did so several times apparently. He became exhausted but he was eventually reunited with Mary Hummel and her husband.

Columbia River at Castlegar and near Genelle according to Google Maps. Photo: Google Maps.

Mary noticed that Jasper had gone missing on the morning of Friday, July 3. Like all devoted companion animal guardians she lept into action to find him. He’s a big dog weighing 140 pounds and he’s white. Therefore he is noticeable.

They were told that he’d been seen on the banks of the Columbia River across from Genelle, which is just south of Castlegar. Over the next several days there were more sightings and more failures, sadly, to find him. A person in the community offered to help with a drone but even that failed. This is rugged country which didn’t help. The sightings of Jasper stopped coming in. Mr and Mrs Hummel started to believe that he had drowned in the river because they were told them that he had crossed it several times.

Then two more calls came in both near the campsite were Jasper had been seen last Saturday. Brent Hummel went in search of him but was unsuccessful again.

When they were on their way back home, heading back towards Castlegar, one of them said that this wasn’t like Hollywood when a lost dog suddenly comes out of the woods and embraces their owners. And then suddenly this is what happened. A miracle: right in the middle of the road was Jasper.

He was weak and he had lost weight. His paws was sore but other than that he was in good health. Mary and her husband Brent want to thank the community of Genelle for rallying around them and helping out in their search for their beloved Jasper.

The community of Genelle came alive. I am so thankful.

Mr and Mrs Hummel

Comment: I have in my mind the image of Jasper courageously crossing the Columbia River, risking his life in his desperate efforts to find Mary and Brent. Dogs can be beautiful creatures and they are so strong with incredible stamina.

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