Dog rescued after swimming across Hudson River


EDGEWATER, N.J. (WABC) – A dog named Bear was saved after jumping into the Hudson River for a mile swim to New Jersey.

His new owners thought he was gone for good after he pulled away during a walk in New York and ran off before taking a dip in the frigid river.

“Never expected to see him again, never expected to even be telling this story,” Bear’s owner, Ellen Wolpin, said. “My son is like, ‘You know, next time make up a story that’s a little more believable.’”

The Edgewater Police Department got a call about a barking dog early Tuesday morning and began searching near a pier.

“We had some low tide conditions, and two guys entered the water in ice rescue suits,” firefighter Tom Quinton said.

Rescuers had to make two passes with the boat before they were able to find Bear and bring him safely on board.

Once on board, Bear was given plenty of treats.

The 50-pound Leonberger mixed with Bernese mountain dog loves the outdoors and has lived outside Bozeman, Montana.

Leonbergers are natural swimmers, and despite the chilly weather, Bear fared rather well.

“He’s doing great,” Wolpin said. “You would have never known he had this adventure.”

Wolpin got Bear last Tuesday to be a service dog for her son Zack, who has special needs.

Everyone is happy to be back together again.

“He’s given us a lifetime of happiness with this,” Wolpin said. “Yep, I say the dog is a fighter and so is my son, so they are a great combination.”

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