A birthday boat trip quickly turned into a rescue mission for two couples after they discovered a small dog stranded in the waters off the coast of Florida May 1.
Bruce Knecht was boating with his wife, Robin, and their friends Michael and Shawn Sahr, when Bruce spotted something strange swimming in the waters, ABC News reports.
“At first I thought it was a floating buoy in the water,” Bruce explained. “And then I said, ‘Oh my goodness.’”
“I saw two brown eyes and almost thought it was a child and [I] turned the boat around instantly and headed to the dog,” he added.
“As soon as he saw the bow of the boat come around, he started paddling as fast as he could toward us and I just leaned over and picked him up,” Bruce continued.
Luckily, the Jack Russell dog -- named Jagermeister -- was wearing a life vest and seemed to be in “pretty good condition”.
Still, he was shaken by the cold and the event.
“He was shaking like a leaf,” Robin said, the New York Daily News reports.“We got towels wrapped around him and got him calmed down — it took about 30 minutes.”
The dog seemed to go back to normal shortly after.
“He was very friendly, very sweet — you could tell he had been on the water,” added Robin. “After he got calmed down he hopped up on the top deck of our boat and sunbathed.”
Meanwhile, Shawn alerted the U.S. Coast Guard about their find.
They revealed to the couples they had actually been searching for the animal, that he had fallen off owner Joey’s boat and had been missing for hours.
“They said that earlier that morning they’d had a report of a dog overboard and had been trying to reach the owner after we let them know that we had found him,” Shawn said. “We waited where we were for quite a while until they could let us know the status of reaching him.”
Thankfully for the dog and his owner, they were soon reunited.
“It was wonderful,” Robin said. “The dog started licking his [owner’s] face. We all got tears in our eyes.”