“He was in a hurry to catch up to the boat. He was literally chasing the boat,” Ronald Arndt told the Appeal Democrat. He was referring to a 10-month-old German Shepherd he saw swimming Saturday night in the middle of the Feather River in Northern California.
When Arndt and some friends pulled the puppy into the boat, they saw what Arndt called “horrible” infected gashes on his face, shoulders and back. Apparently the puppy had fallen off a boat and was then struck by a propeller.
Despite his injuries, the puppy was calm — until someone started the boat’s motor. Arndt held the puppy, who they named “Water Shepherd,” in his arms as the boat made its way back to shore.
“I have a soft heart for dogs,” he told the Appeal Democrat. “I get too attached. This dog, he broke my heart.”
Arndt and his friends rushed Water Shepherd to a local veterinarian. The pup was treated for his wounds and is recuperating at Sutter County Animal Services in Yuba City.
Since Water Shepherd’s skin was starting to die around his wounds, Animal Services Manager Diana Barrett believes he was in the river for a day or two. The puppy is housebroken and obviously someone’s pet.
“Ideally, we want the owner to say, ‘Oh my gosh! That’s my dog,'” Barrett told the Appeal Democrat. “But we want to give this guy a chance.”
The shelter is in need of bandages and other donations. For information on how to donate, visit its website or call 530-822-7375.
Within the past eight months, two other dogs have made the news after falling from boats.
In March, a German Shepherd/Husky mix named Luna fell off a boat near the coast of Southern California. After more than a month went by, her dog dad assumed she had drowned. But five weeks after she disappeared, Luna was discovered on a private island owned by the Navy. She was in pretty good shape, considering her castaway ordeal.
In November, a Yellow Lab puppy named Noodle fell off a ferry in Italy’s Gulf of Naples, but the ferry operator refused to stop to save her. Fortunately, half an hour later, boaters were shocked to see Noodle treading water in the middle of nowhere. They rescued her — capturing it on video — and returned the puppy to her grateful dog dad.
Photo credit: Greg Loesch (That’s another German Shepherd, not Water Shepherd)