Ellen Wolpin recently brought home a six-month-old puppy named Bear to be a service dog for her son, who has seizures. But even service dogs need a little time to adjust to their new surroundings. Bear had only been with the family for about a week before something spooked him and caused him to squeeze out of his collar.
Poor Bear ran all the way to the Hudson River and jumped in. When no one spotted him in the river, his humans feared the worst. But two days later, a miracle occurred.
Lost in the Treacherous Waters
After Bear squeezed out of his collar, someone tried to catch him, but it only scared him more. Bear ran 30 blocks before jumping into the river, which is about one mile wide. The river is often busy with boats and it has many dangerous currents. The average human wouldn’t be able to swim across, so everyone feared for the puppy’s life.
Patrol boats looked for the dog, but no one saw him. Luckily, Bear is mixed with a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Leonberger, both of which are excellent swimmers. Even so, his family worried that they’d never see him again.
But to everyone’s surprise, Bear appeared on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River two days later.
“The story just seems so insane to me that I cannot believe it’s true,” Wolpin said.
Found in New Jersey!
Someone heard Bear barking in Edgewater, New Jersey, so they called the Edgewater Fire Company for help. Firefighters arrived at the scene around 1:30 am, where he was under a pier.
“The dog was literally standing at the end of the pier. It looked like a dog statue,” Edgewater firefighter Thomas Quinton said. “It was like it was ready to go. He was tired of being underneath there.”
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During low tide conditions, two firefighters entered the water in ice rescue suits. When they finally brought Bear onto their boat, they rewarded him with treats. The hungry pup seemed eager to gobble down any food he could get.
The Edgewater police scanned Bear’s microchip, which connected them with Wolpin. Wolpin said Bear is doing fine, and you’d never know he went on such a crazy adventure. Most of the people she tells the story to have a hard time believing something so crazy happened.
“The dog is a fighter, and so is my son, so they’re a great combination,” Wolpin said.
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