GEIST RESERVOIR — It’s a story that brings together a dog, a bridge and a boater in the right place at the right time.
At the Humane Society for Hamilton County, there’s a dog getting the star treatment. It’s all because the way he got there makes him quite the star.
“He’s a very lucky kid, for sure,” Medical Manager Laura Snyder said.
It all started Wednesday around 11 a.m., when Russ Chargualaf was taking a friend’s boat to gas up at the marina.
“I saw a guy yelling, there was a dog that was running along the rocks (and) he went up on the bridge,” Chargualaf said.
That dog saw the traffic on top of the Fall Creek Road bridge and jumped.
“(There) was just a huge splash,” Chargualaf said.
He was about 30 feet away and managed to drift his boat close enough to get to the dog.
“The dog was just trying to swim, probably about a foot or so underneath the water, couldn’t get its head up,” Chargualaf said.
When he stuck his hand in to grab it, the dog bit down. It’s teeth went all the way through Chargualaf’s skin, injuring him but giving him the leverage to swing him onto the boat.
“I just pulled him straight (up) and then put him towards the back of the boat,” Chargualaf said.
Still bleeding, he snapped a couple of photos. The man who he’d seen trying to catch the dog helped get it to the shelter while Chargualaf went to get medical attention for the deep bite.
“I had to go to the ER. I was bleeding pretty bad,” Chargualaf said.
He’s still hurting, but is glad to know his efforts worked.
His story gets even more amazing, too, because this is not the first time Chargualaf has been a hero on Geist Reservoir. Two years ago, he saw a man who had suffered a seizure and gone unconscious on a nearby boat and saved his life.
“I don’t know if it’s just, I’m always at the right place at the right time but for me it’s almost common that something like this happens,” Chargualaf said.
Something extraordinary, yet in the end, he’s just hoping the dog will get home.
Snyder said the dog does not have a microchip.
“Obviously somebody’s been taking good care of this boy for several years, so hopefully somebody will recognize him,” Snyder said.
If you do recognize the dog, you should call the Humane Society for Hamilton County by next Wednesday at (317) 773-4974.