Dog Lost on Lake Michigan Paddles Back to Land and Family

It takes a village to raise a family, and it certainly takes a community to find a missing pup. The Obermans of Chicago found themselves on luck’s side when their dog was recovered after being missing under unbelievable circumstances on July 26 around Lake Michigan. Late July is some of the best time for boating around the lake, and the Obermans took such an opportunity to spend some good, quality family time on the waters of Lake Michigan in Benzie County. The Obermans are avid boaters, so they knew the usual precautions when taking the family on the boat. That’s something natural to think of when you’re taking three kids out on open water. However, the family might’ve had too much confidence on safety when it came to their 1-year old goldendoodle, Roxy. Roxy is a beautiful, cinnamon-colored dog. Although we don’t know how often Roxy has been on boats before, we do know something about the temperament of young goldendoodles. Goldendoodles are a cross between golden retrievers and poodles. They have a distinct look to them, and their personalities are just as particular. They are highly intelligent creatures that constantly look for stimulation and play, especially at a young age. They are confident creatures, and there are times when they can be too confident on their abilities as well.

According to, the Obermans didn’t see Roxy go overboard. Kim Oberman, the family matriarch, wasn’t sure when their puppy actually got lost. It’s a harrowing thought that the family had already gone six miles out into the lake before they even took notice. That six-mile span is between land on Frankfort and water heading out to Leland. Roxy could’ve been lost anywhere in between those waters, or there’s also the possibility that Roxy never even made it onto the boat to begin with. As soon as the Oberman family noticed that their dog was gone, they started a search right away. Their initial search while on the boat in the lake lasted about five hours. However, they noticed that the conditions in the lake started to become more dangerous as waves began to build up. The Obermans made the decision to dock their boat and continue their search on land.

This was when the family called on for help from other people, and people definitely did not disappoint. Many strangers stepped up in order to help the distraught family with finding their lost goldendoodle. The Obermans asked some people to help them continue their search on Frankfort, with the thought that Roxy might not have made it onto the boat. There was even a boater that volunteered his car, so the Obermans could search around the beach towns close to the area. Many others got up and walked the beach in order to assist in the search for Roxy. Eventually, the Coast Guard joined in the search along with a couple of jet skiers.

It was a devastating time for the Obermans, and it must’ve been equally frightening for Roxy too. The goldendoodle spent that night alone and wasn’t found until the following morning. Lori Sarya, owner of Jacobson Marina in Frankfort, discovered the puppy along with her husband John. The couple heard a dog barking by the break wall and saw Roxy’s face in the bushes upon inspection. The Saryas couldn’t believe that they had finally found the missing pup. Roxy was found just south of Pointe Betsie, which is located north of Frankfort. It was hiding in the bushes, likely for protection and safety. It was the hopeful turnout for the Obermans, Roxy, and everyone that was involved with the search. It showed the power of community and helping each other out. When the Obermans shared their situation with Roxy that day in Frankfort, their post was shared over 700 times. That kind of awareness and reach definitely helped the family’s search for their dog, but there wasn’t a moment when the Obermans thought they might’ve lost Roxy forever.

When Roxy was found that fateful morning, she was still wearing her life jacket. This scenario shows just how important it is to protect yourself and your loved ones while boating. Life jackets are crucial to survival, especially for dogs. While dogs are often referred to as great swimmers, there’s not a lot a dog can do if a body of water is churning heavily—exactly what the case was on the day Roxy was lost. If Roxy wasn’t wearing a life jacket, there’s a possibility that the dog could’ve gotten tired from swimming and drowned.

The consensus is that Roxy was lost after being on the boat. Roxy fell overboard and paddled her way back to Frankfort. It’s a mighty effort for such a creature, but we know that goldendoodles are agile and determined. Roxy did not suffer any injuries and seem to have recovered well from the incident. It’s a great reminder for the Obermans and all pet families to keep a watchful eye on pets. Dogs, especially young goldendoodles, are playful creatures. You could never put it past a dog to explore open waters, especially for young pups. There are always accidents as well, which can all be prevented with a little more precaution and a lot more safekeeping actions. Still, Roxy is safe, and it couldn’t have been possible without the help of community. It’s incredible to know that there is still good people out there, willing to help a stranger at the drop of a hat. The Obermans are fortunate to still have Roxy, and Roxy is equally lucky to have a family that will do anything for her.

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