Erin O’Donnell adopted Harper from the good folks at the North Shore Animal League two years ago. While Erin and Harper have become fast friends, her mother says that she has not been as quick to embrace strangers in most instances.
yesterday i was at the Brooklyn Barge and a dog ended up in the river, here’s my account: pic.twitter.com/ym9Tn57uyE— Lorenzo Fonda (@lorenzo_fonda) May 5, 2019
She’s a sweetheart who happens to be quite anxious outside and around strangers, according to Erin. When Erin had to leave her behind during a performance with the Brooklyn Irish Dance Company, she never could have expected what would happen next.
Harper was going to spend time with a trusted dog walker, as well as some friends of Erin’s. Unfortunately, the dog walker and Harper were struck by a wayward motorist.
A cab driver ran a stop sign and they both sustained minor injuries. This was not the worst of it, though. Harper became frightened once the accident took place. She took off running almost immediately.
The dog ran all the way down to the East River and jumped into the water. Harper’s panic caused her to swim with a great deal of ferocity. She did not know that she was taking herself further and further away from her loved ones. Onlookers did not know what to make of it. To them, it seemed like just another dog, out for a leisurely swim.
— Lorenzo Fonda (@lorenzo_fonda) May 5, 2019
After a few moments passed, they soon realized that this was not the case at all. Harper was in great danger and would need help. Gabe Castellanos was on the scene at the time.
When he found out that the dog was not actually having an enjoyable swim, he knew that he had to put aside his birthday celebration to help out. He could not stand to see this dog suffering.
Harper was starting to run out of steam at this point. The cold waters were sapping her energy. She would not last much longer unless someone saved her.
As a graduate of SUNY Maritime College, Gabe had the necessary skills to assist her. It was time for him to put his education to the test. A cheering crowd gathered to give him some moral support.
“I could not hear anything other than the water,” said Gabe. Harper was very nervous when Gabe first arrived on the scene and did not want him near.
Once she realized that he was there to help, she eventually relented. Harper is no worse for the wear but will need to wear some trendy boots, so that her paws have the chance to heal. Kudos to Gabe for his selfless actions!