After getting loose from his owners, a dog named Bear had a pretty harrowing adventure: he ended up in the Hudson River and swam between two states, making it from New York City to New Jersey.
But thankfully, this dog is safe and sound (and dry) now, after a fire crew saved him from the river, in a story that is being called a miracle.
According to NJ.com, Ellen Wolpin and her family recently adopted Bear, a Leonberger Bernese mix, intending to train him as a service dog for her developmentally disabled son.
But just days after arriving in his new home in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Bear got loose from his collar and ran off. Bystanders tried to catch the dog, but it only scared him and made him run further.
Two days passed with no sign of the dog, and the family began to worry they would never see him again.
“I thought he was gone for good. We were so upset, devastated this weekend. We didn’t know what to do,” Ellen Wolpin told ABC 7.
It turned out that Bear had gotten himself in quite a serious predicament: after running through Manhattan, he ended up in the Hudson River.
But against the odds, Bear managed to survive — and not only that, he managed to swim all the way to New Jersey on the other side. Bear swam at least a half a mile, the average width of the river.
Thankfully, Bear’s ordeal was soon over. Firefighters from the Edgewater Fire Company responded to a call about a dog barking near the water. Arriving on the scene, they found Bear underneath the pier in Independence Harbor, and quickly began a plan to get him out.
“The dog was literally standing at the end of the pier…it looked like a dog statue,” Edgewater firefighter Thomas Quinton told Inside Edition. “It was like it was ready to go, he was tired of being underneath there.”
“The two guys in the water just stayed behind him so he would come toward the boat and he sat there, waited patiently, I grabbed him by the back of the head and put him in the back of the boat,” Quinton told ABC 7.
Bear was fed and taken to the animal hospital, but other than being very thirsty the dog was remarkably unharmed.
He was soon reunited with his very relieved family: “We’re so happy,” Ellen told NJ.com. “We were giving him all these hugs and kisses and my son was like ‘Bear, bear.’ My son was so happy.”
“The entire thing is crazy,” she said. “We were not expecting this outcome. We are beyond happy. As my son said, ‘this is a miracle.’ We prayed for it.”
What a miracle — we’re so glad this dog survived and was rescued, and is now safe and sound with his loving family