Dog saves hikers from falling tree in Goldstream Park

Langford owner credits Roo with alert when cedar tree fell

Roo

Three hikers in Goldstream Provincial Park had a close call with a falling tree, which narrowly missed them thanks to the heightened senses of Roo the dog.

Lydia Bigras, a Langford resident, and two friends, Louise Morgan and Yves Savard, went for a walk in the park Nov. 26 to look for eagles during salmon spawning season. While walking down a trail in the park, Roo, Bigras’ four-year-old Australian terrier, started rooting around a fern, odd behaviour for the dog, according to Bigras.

All of a sudden Roo jumped and ran in the opposite direction the group was walking. This threw Bigras, who had Roo on a leash, off balance and she was forced to run with him in order to stay upright.

Bigras’ friends saw her running and did likewise out of confusion and instinct more than anything, Bigras said.

Moments later a 40- to 60-foot cedar tree fell where the group had been standing. None of the humans in the group had noticed any signs the tree was falling.

“It was like a disaster movie that you’d see on the screen,” Bigras said. “Everything slowed down and literally within seconds this big, huge cedar falls.”

The tree fell so close to Bigras that branches cut her face and head. Her doctor checked her out and Bigras said she is fine.

“It was pretty surreal,” Bigras said “We were really, really fortunate to have him. … We would have been under that tree.”

 

Roo also works as a pet therapy dog, going into nursing homes and hospitals to visit residents. He’s become a minor celebrity on an Australian terrier Facebook group Bigras belongs to thanks to his quick thinking.