May 21, 2024


Katarina Wojcik Shilov and her dog, Buddy, an Italian mastiff, at the scene of the Dattern-Ham canal accident.
Katarina Wojcik Shilov and her dog, Buddy, an Italian mastiff, at the scene of the Dattern-Ham canal accident. ©Stephanie Tatenhorst

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More than 36 hours after the accident on the Dattern-Ham canal in Bergkamen Runte, Katarina Wojcik-Shelov still has an image that haunts her mind. And her nose is watery. I knew he couldn’t do it alone. ”

When this actually happened, the 37-year-old made a decision she wouldn’t regret later. She climbed into the ice-cold canal water to join her dog, Buddy, who fell into Buddy while playing with another male dog. A deadly battle begins for both.

“Normally, I don’t go into the pool, even in the summer when the temperature is 40 degrees,” says Katarina Vojkuczyk Sierov. But when her owner’s Italian Mastiff’s life is in danger, she wants to help. “I knew I couldn’t just jump into the water. “If it were me, I wouldn’t survive,” she says. However, her dog desperately tries to climb the pile.

There, because it was 5 degrees outside and windy, she took off her jacket and shoes and climbed down to the water using a nearby ladder. “I wanted to lure him so he could get past me to the stone embankment, but Buddy’s strength is weakening.” He is in danger of falling. “I slowly slipped into the water and swam to him,” Katarina Wojcik-Silov said, admitting, “It was very cold.”

Katarina Wojcik-Sierov and her friend Jessica Peters regularly walk along the canal with their dogs. A terrible accident occurred while walking on Thursday (April 25th).
Katarina Wojcik-Sierov and her friend Jessica Peters regularly walk along the canal with their dogs. A terrible accident occurred while walking on Thursday (April 25th).©Stephanie Tatenhorst

But the adrenaline helps you ignore the cold. “I thought if I got Buddy, we could swim to shore together,” the 37-year-old shares her thoughts. But when Katarina Wojcik Shilov contacts him, Buddy has a completely different reaction than she expected. “I pulled him up and pushed him against the wall. I grabbed onto the sheet pile pole myself,” the Bergkamen woman recalls.

However, she cannot hold a 50kg dog for long. Buddy panics in fear of her death and clings to her. His nails scratch all over her body and his paws get caught in her braids. He becomes violent and violent, punching his owner in the face and eyes. She lost her contact lenses. I can hardly see anything anymore.

my friend is a witness

Her friend Jessica Peters was a witness to the horrific scene. Buddy was playing with a male dog when she fell into the water. “I thought we were both going to drown,” she said of her fear at the time. She also wants to call Buddy and lure him to a natural embankment just a few meters away, with her own dog who knows the way to her water. “But my dog ​​couldn’t understand what I wanted from him. He just lashed out and yelled.”

The commotion also made people on bicycles on the opposite bank aware of the situation. They crossed the Canal Street Bridge and the embankment and rushed to the women’s aid. Katarina Wojcik-Sierov’s father-in-law, who lives along the canal, also responded to the screams. However, women are completely unaware of this.

Close-up of a woman's face with bruises under her eyes and bleeding from her eyes.
The effects of the fight for survival are still visible. Katarina Wojcik-Sierov suffered severe injuries to her eye. It is still unknown whether she will be able to keep her eyesight.©Stephanie Tatenhorst

At one point, Katarina Wojcik-Sierov yelled to her friend: “Please call the fire department.” Jessica Peters does this right away. “In a panic, I wanted to join them in the water,” she says. “They were probably there for 10 minutes.”

Meanwhile, Katarina Wojcik-Shilov continues her battle with Buddy. She thinks about her two children and another accident at the canal. “It suddenly occurred to me that an experienced swimmer had a convulsion and that’s why he sank and died. I suddenly found it incredibly scary. It’s crazy what you’re thinking. ,” she says. But, “I knew then that I had to save myself now. I tried everything. If I couldn’t save the dog, that was it.”

“That’s when I heard sirens.”

She pushes the dog away and tries to get back on the ladder. However, Buddy chases her and pushes her into the water multiple times. Katarina Wojcik-Sierov now really has to fight for her life. “I thought he was going to kill me,” she says.

She manages to reach the ladder and clings to it. “That’s when I heard sirens,” says Katarina Wojcik-Sierov, referring to the sirens of approaching rescue workers. “The paramedics, the ambulance and the fire department also came by boat,” Jessica Peters recalls. Katarina Wojcik-Silov is completely unaware of this. “That sound alone gave me strength. I just thought, wait a second. Help is coming soon. I really mustered up the last of my strength.”

The ambulance will arrive first. Katarina Wojcik-Sierov was able to reach the shore with the help of her stepfather and her bicyclists, who even brought her a blanket. Buddy finds his way to a stone embankment. He too was saved.

Buddy the dog loves his owner dearly. He survived the accident well. Without hesitation, he proceeded to the canal and passed the accident scene as if nothing had happened.
Buddy the dog loves his owner dearly. He survived the accident well. Without hesitation, he proceeded to the canal and passed the accident scene as if nothing had happened.©Stephanie Tatenhorst

But then Katarina Wojcik-Silov had to go to an eye doctor in Dortmund. Buddy shoved his paw and nails into her eyes. “The bleeding is there and it’s under control,” the 37-year-old said. “I still see black spots and lightning. But I would do it again,” she says. “Even if I go blind, that’s okay. I did what I could.”

Looking back, there’s one thing she definitely would have done differently. “First I call the emergency services, then I help. “Actually, I know I need to act this way in every emergency,” she says self-critically. “But at this point in time when it’s happening, you’re not thinking about it.”





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