As floodwaters lapped at the porch of her Old Hickory home, Linda Stewart saw a rescue boat pull up, and faced a choice. The boat already had a dog in it, and she was told that dogs from different homes did not mix in a small boat; she could get in the boat if she left her dogs behind, or wait for another boat later.
It wasn’t even really a decision. Stewart was not going to leave her dogs at home in the rising waters, so she waited, and a firefighter stayed with her until a boat that could rescue the whole family came. It was 9:45 Sunday night, May 2, when Stewart, along with Kobe the peekapoo, Summer the poodle mix, Niki the Pomeranian, and Sasha the schnauzer-Yorkie mix made their way to safety by police boat.
“You would not believe how quickly the water rose,” she said. “I had no warning.”
On the other side of the normally small, scenic lake in her subdivision, ironically named Waterford, waited Stewart’s sister and brother-in-law.
Three days later, she was able to return to find a severely damaged house and a totaled car, but luckily she did have flood insurance that will cover much of the loss.
And she has her dogs, which are temporarily settled with her in a pet-friendly residence hotel in Madison.
“I am so grateful to Vanderbilt, for the community, for family support,” she says. “Church groups brought food, the Red Cross…it’s amazing.”

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