A man and his German Shepherd from McKinney, Texas, have a lot to be thankful for this weekend.
When they became trapped in chest-deep floodwaters under a bridge around 4 a.m. Friday, the man called 911 on his cell phone, hoisted his big dog up onto his shoulders and waited for help to arrive.
The McKinney Fire Department managed to pinpoint the man’s location by ‘pinging’ his cell phone off nearby towers.
Professional photographer Michael O’Keefe, founder of First Response Photography, was also on the scene.
“I poked over the guard rail and saw a dog. That’s literally all I saw at first, was the dog standing on water,” he told NBC DFW. “Turns out he was standing on the shoulders of the gentleman that was his owner.”
Using what spokeswoman Stacie Durham told the McKinney Courier-Gazette was a long-angle rescue, firefighters maneuvered the ladder over the water from the fire engine parked on the bridge. Swift-water rescuers were lowered to the man and his dog, who were lifted to safety.
“It was a pretty lengthy rescue process,” Durham said.
The rescue was caught on video by O’Keefe. “I don’t think [the man] was going to leave the dog,” he told NBC DFW. “I think they were going as a pair.”
Soon after the man and dog were on dry land, the German Shepherd showed his appreciation to his lifesaver, as you can see in the photo above.
“His feet hit the ground and he almost instantly went towards the firefighter that had saved him, jumped all over him, licked all over him,” O’Keefe told NBCD FW. “It was real touching to watch.”
On the First Response Photography Facebook page yesterday, O’Keefe wrote, “We have received numerous messages and calls from all over the globe, people wanting to share their appreciation to the McKinney First Responders that rescued a man and his dog from the flood waters early Friday morning.
“These folks train hard and work hard, and we think they deserve the recognition.”
Photo via Facebook