A sixth-month-old puppy has been reunited with his owner after breaking free from his leash and running off last week. Ellen Wolpin told WNBC that she was walking Bear, a Leonberger Bernese Mountain dog mix, on the Upper West Wide in New York City when he got out of his collar and sprinted away.
Bear ran around 30 blocks north before jumping into the Hudson River and swimming all the way to New Jersey.
Wolpin said that a bystander saw Bear swimming across the river but lost sight of him about three-quarters of the way across. She called 911, and the New York City Police Department dispatched boats to look for Bear.
After they came up empty, Wolpin thought she might never see Bear again.
"We didn't think that he made it across, I was sick to my stomach and just kind of kept hoping that it was a nightmare," Wolpin told the New York Post. "On Sunday, I was hoping that I would get a phone call from somebody, and then come Monday, there's no way this dog survived, and then at 5 o'clock this morning, I got a phone call from the Edgewater Police Department that they had him."
On Tuesday (December 6), Wolpin received a call from the Edgewater, New Jersey Fire Department saying that they found Bear hiding underneath the pier at Independence Harbor. It took officers about five hours to coax the scared and tired dog out.
Bear has since been reunited with his family and is doing fine, though he needs a bath.
"Hopefully, swimming the Hudson is over because when he came back, he was very stinky," Wolpin said.