Lehi family warns of water danger after dog jumps into creek
May 16, 2023, 6:41 PM
LEHI, Utah — After going for a run early Monday morning with the family dog, Lehi resident Danny Jessop stopped to look at the rushing waters of Dry Creek.
Suddenly, 2-year-old Willow, a Border Collie-Goldendoodle mix, jumped into the raging waters of a box culvert next to the freeway.
“She just jumped up and over the cement barrier,” Jessop said, adding that Willow has never tried to jump into the water before.
Willow was immediately swept through the tunnel that traveled under Interstate 15.
“We just wanted our dog—we didn’t know we loved her so much”
This is Willow. She jumped into Dry Creek in Lehi and was swept downriver and through a tunnel under I-15.
She survived and is now back with her family. I’ll have the story and the warning for other families NEXT on… pic.twitter.com/v6CyVqsOjM
— Ladd Egan (@laddegan) May 17, 2023
Jessop described frantic moments of calling police dispatch for help and getting his family and neighbors to come search for Willow.
The family raced downriver, hoping to get ahead of Willow. But after about 40 minutes of searching alongside animal control, police, firefighters and other city employees, Jessop said they were beginning to lose hope.
“We just wanted our dog. We didn’t know we loved her so much,” an emotional Jessop said.
Suddenly, a call came over the police radio saying that Willow may have been found.
“I didn’t know if that meant dead or alive,” Jessop said.
Willow was alive and uninjured, but scared as she hid in the bushes along the creek. She had managed to get out of the runoff-swollen creek on her own.
“She was just up on the bank. She was dirty. She was wet. She was cold. She was shaking,” Jessop said. “I don’t know how she would have climbed out with that current so strong.”
After the joyous reunion, the family is watching Willow very closely and keeping her on a leash near water. Jessop also expressed his gratitude for employees of Lehi City who helped in the search.
“We just had a reunion that we didn’t think that we would have,” he said. “It was an unexpected happy ending. It was an answer to prayer and a miracle that we all experienced yesterday morning.”
Jessop is also warning other families with pets and children about the dangers of Dry Creek.