Alexander ‘Xander’ Jacobson, 5, stares up at the television Sunday in his family’s Janesville home as he and family members wait to watch a video of Xander colliding with a family dog air on ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos.’

Jake Magee


When 5-year-old Alexander “Xander” Jacobson collided with his aunt’s Frisbee-chasing dog last summer, he didn’t know the ensuing traumatic tumble would make its way to national television.

Xander and his family gathered together Sunday evening to watch the slow-motion clip air on “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

In the video, Xander runs through an in-ground sprinkler in his aunt Shannon Gilbertson’s backyard before colliding with her dog, Sam, sending Xander flipping head over heels.

“It was just at the right time my husband had tossed the Frisbee for Sam, and he took off running after it, and it just was kind of a perfect storm. It was like they just happened to be right in the same place at the same time,” said Gilbertson.

After crashing on his head, Xander had a brief moment of “sheer terror,” Gilbertson said.

“As a way of controlling what would have been a meltdown, I informed my nephew he looked like a ninja and that I got it all on video,” she said. “It seemed to kind of take his mind off of the fact that he had just done a little flip in the air and landed upside down.”

No one was seriously hurt, including the dog, Gilbertson said.

“The dog couldn’t have cared less. Sammy was good,” she said.

“I was not,” said Xander.

After watching the clip, Xander asked his aunt to send it to “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” a show he loves.

“We watch it in Boogie’s room,” Xander said, referencing his dog.

Sure enough, the program decided to air it.

The family got the news Friday and gathered in Xander’s family’s west-side Janesville home to watch.

When the show’s host mentioned a segment about slow-motion dogs, the family perked up and whipped out their phones to record Xander’s reaction. Xander was nothing but smiles as the family cheered when his clip capped off the segment.

Gilbertson said she’s unsure if the clip is eligible for the prize. There has been no indication that it is.

But Xander got a prize anyway. After he recovered from seeing himself on TV, his family gave him a small trophy for his television debut.

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