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Canoers Help Retrieve Man, Dogs from Neuse River

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WAKE COUNTY — An afternoon along the Neuse River turned out to be a bit more eventful than a local couple -- and their dogs -- could have imagined.

Travis Holhouser and his wife Karla thought their Golden Retrievers could swim in a shallow part of the Neuse River. Within minutes, Holhouser found himself trying to keep his pets from being caught up in the current.

Holhouser jumped into the river when he realized one dog was fighting to keep his nose above water. The other dog followed, and it was not long before they were all in trouble -- setting the stage for an incredible river rescue.

"Anything could have happened. I could have been dragged under, I could have gotten tangled up in some of the trees out here. It's just unbelievable," says Holhouser.

"I love my dogs and I didn't want to sit there and watch them drown," he says.

Emergency crews arrived at the scene quickly, but when some other people enjoying the river arrived, the rescue really began.

"We're especially glad the two canoers were coming down the lake, because I don't know how we would have gotten out of the river if it wasn't for the canoers," says Holhouser.

The people in the canoe paddled Holhouser, with one of his dogs hanging on, back to the river bank.

"It was all really scary. I'm glad they are all OK and everything. Everybody was a big help," says Karla Holhouser.

Travis Holhouser says he was in the water for about 45 minutes before help arrived. He and the dogs are fine.