HOUSTON - One year after the devastating Brazos River floods, Archer the dog continues to be a ray of light to all she meets.
While covering the Brazos River floods of 2016, KPRC Channel 2 News reporter Phil Archer and rescuers came across a dog holding on for life as the waters rose around her. Now, a year later, Phil and Archer, the dog named after Phil, were brought together for a very special reunion.
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Archer became famous for simply surviving. The dog was left chained to a porch, forgotten in the rapidly-rising flood water of the Brazos River. She was just minutes away from drowning when she was found. She was pulled from the water shivering and hungry, but alive.
Her survival was a small ray of good news in a bad time, and after almost dying, she is now thriving as a cherished member of Fort Bend Sheriff Troy Nehls' family. Nehls was the man in the boat who first spotted her that day and couldn't turn away from her.
"He called and he said at the time, 'Love, we've rescued this dog. It was tied up. It's the cutest dog. I'm going to send you a picture,'" the sheriff's wife, Jill Nehls, said. "I was already thinking, 'Oh, is there going to be something more to this dog?'"
Jill Nehls and their three girls had already put together quite a menagerie of animals: Two other dogs, a couple of pet rats and a duck with a damaged wing named Lucky.
The new addition was aptly named Archer because Phil Archer helped fish her out of the water, and she fits right in with the rest of the herd in the Nehls household.
"The joy this dog brings to the kids, I mean Tori just loves -- Gen and Cambry just love Archer," Troy Nehls said. "(She) just blends right into the family."
"Now her tail wags all the time," Jill Nehls said. "She's happy. You come indoors, she's jumping up on you to greet you -- we're still working on that."
The lucky dog is a happy dog now, but she wasn't the only animal left alone or in trouble when the high water came last year.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other animals -- dogs, cats, or livestock -- died in the flooding.
The Houston Humane Society took in hundreds of other animals who were lost or abandoned and provided initial emergency care for those who were rescued, including Archer.
Monica Schmidt, with the Humane Society, said responsible owners should prepare their pets for the next big storm as they would prepare for themselves.
"(Have) a first aid kit, (have) a go bag with extra food in it and toys, (have) a pet that maybe, don't crate, but you get them trained so that they're not going to freak out if they go into a crate," Schmidt said. "Don't wait until (the) storm has hit to say, 'Gosh, wish I had gotten my pet micro-chipped.'"
It's storm season again, so when you make out your checklist, be sure and include all the members of your family.
The Houston Humane Society has helpful hints on its website that you can find by clicking here.
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