UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — It was homeward bound on Tuesday for Bear the dog, who swam across the Hudson River from Manhattan to New Jersey.
Bear, a 6-month-old service dog for Ellen Wolpin’s son, went missing Saturday afternoon. He slipped out of his collar and ran about 20 blocks before getting into the water near 110th Street.
“We thought there was no way. I mean, I saw the water rushing up towards the GWB and I thought the current alone would take him upstream,” Wolpin said. “It never occurred to me that he was going to make it over to Edgewater.”
Wolpin was terrified when Bear swam off, she said. The mom didn’t know how she was going to explain this to her son, who’d quickly bonded with Bear.
“Zach and Bear have formed such a close bond in the first week that they had met,” the mom said. “Bear was sleeping in bed with him, sitting underneath the table when his teachers were here, just kind of following him all over the place, which is exactly what we needed.”
The family only got Bear a few weeks ago. He’s going to be trained to tell when Wolpin’s son is having a seizure. He’s not trained for that yet, but he sure knows how to swim.
Bear was found under the pier at Independence Harbor, Edgewater Fire Company #1 wrote on Facebook early Tuesday. He was taken to a vet and later reunited with his family.
“Right now we’re just going to love him and hug him and give him lots of treats and take it one day at a time,” Wolpin said. “And make sure that he’s got a harness that fits him.”