After a swim across the Hudson River, a New York City pooch has returned home.
After receiving a call about a dog barking in the water early on Tuesday morning, the Edgewater Fire Department discovered a 6-month-old mixed-breed dog named Bear hiding beneath a pier in Independence Harbor.
Firefighter Tom Quinton explained, “The two guys in the water just stayed behind him so he would come to approach the boat, and he sat there, waited calmly. I took him by the back of the head and put him in the back of the boat.”
Bear’s owner, Ellen Wolpin, told The New York Post that she and her family had only gotten the dog last week for their special-needs 20-year-old son Zack but that he had already gotten out and run down 86th Street before jumping in the sea around 110th.
Bear’s family was worried that he was lost for forever when patrol boats had little success locating him that day, despite the fact that his breed—a hybrid between a Leonberger Bernese and a Bernese Mountain dog—typically does well in cold weather.
They finished a whole triathlon. She told The Post. “Since he ran about 1.5 miles and swam about 1 mile,” she said.
She continued, “On Sunday, I was hoping that I would get a phone call from anyone, and by Monday, there’s no way this dog survived, and then at five o’clock this morning, I got a phone call from the Edgewater Police Department saying they had him.”
The family was reunited at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday. At that point, Wolpin reports that they bathed Bear, took him to the vet for an examination, and purchased many dog harnesses to prevent a similar incident in the future.
A Christmas miracle, in her eyes, she said, adding that Bear has “received loads of treats and loves” since their reunion.