Rescued Vt. Pet Owner Now Searching for Lost Dog After Water Emergency

Yogurt the golden retriever was washed away in the rapids of the Joiner Brook — the same water from which a specialized rescue team saved the dog's owner

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A Vermont man is searching for his dog, who went missing during the same water emergency that put the pet owner in serious danger.

"I thank them for saving my life," said Derek Taylor, 30, of Bolton, referring to the specialized teams that pulled him to safety from a life-threatening predicament.

"Everyone was really, really, really nice — and extremely brave for saving him," added Amanda Taylor, Derek's wife.

Friday, the Joiner Brook in Bolton was raging after heavy rain and a lot of melting snow.

Derek was out with Yogurt, one of the couple's two golden retrievers, who spotted someone he knew across the brook and bolted into the water toward them. The dog was obviously unable to gauge the risk from the rapids, the Taylors noted.

Derek tried to save Yogurt, but ended up trapped on a rock ledge. His pet was swept away.

"It was terrifying," he recalled.

The Vermont State Police, the Bolton Fire Department, Richmond Fire & Rescue and Colchester Technical Rescue responded, according to a state police media release Friday. The swift water experts at Colchester Technical Rescue were able to put a boat into the rapids and use a rope system to save the dog dad.

The responding agencies determined Taylor had hypothermia, the media release said, but he told NECN and NBC10 Boston Tuesday that he is physically OK.

"It was the most traumatic thing I've ever experienced," Taylor recalled.

Derek and Amanda, as well as their other golden retriever, Molly, are missing Yogurt terribly, the Taylors said.

They're not giving up hope he may be alive somewhere — lost and scared. So they were hanging up posters Tuesday asking people in the vicinity of the Joiner Brook and Winooski River along Route 2 to keep their eyes out for Yogurt.

Because the Joiner Brook empties into the Winooski, the couple knows the search area is massive.

"We're praying for a miracle," Derek Taylor said.

Volunteers who have heard about Yogurt through social media are turning out to help look for the nearly 2-year-old, or, yes, maybe his remains — to allow the family to bury their beloved boy, if it comes to that.

NECN and NBC10 Boston saw several people helping search for the dog Tuesday. The Taylors said additionally, they heard from someone with a drone and from friends with canoes or kayaks who agreed to lend a hand looking for Yogurt.

Now, the Taylors want everyone to heed the warning signs posted in the area of the Bolton Potholes and avoid that kind of waterway — especially after storms or the spring melt.

Amanda Taylor recommended keeping your dog on a leash.

"If the water's unpredictable, stay away from it," Derek Taylor added. "And give your dog a big kiss goodnight."

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