An Oregon couple say they’re grateful to local law enforcement and community members who helped rescue their dog after he fell off the B Street Pier last week.
Cynthia Alsup, of Eagle Point, Oregon, said she and her husband Jerry had taken their three dogs out onto the pier on April 13 when their 15-year-old blind mini Australian shepherd, Sparky, went over the edge. Alsup said she and her husband had been watching recreational crabbers pull up their pots and measure their catch when the curious pooch slipped out of his collar about three-quarters of the way down the pier.
On Wednesday Alsup said Sparky appears to be fine. She said he had a bath on Tuesday, so he no longer smells of the ocean. But, Alsup said, his fall gave her quite a scare.
“It was quite a shock, actually,” she said. “I just took my eyes off him.”
Once he got into the water, Sparky was able to swim toward shore, Alsup said, but became disoriented in the surf and struggled a bit. Bystanders had called 911 to report an animal in need of rescue, Alsup said.
Jerry Alsup had waded into the water until it was about waist deep, calling Sparky’s name, Cynthia Alsup said. Others began calling Sparky’s name. Cynthia Alsup said one bystander offered to try to hook onto the dog with his fly-fishing pole. Finally, another walked into the water, got Sparky and brought him back to shore.
“People were being vigilant about calling his name and that was a really cool thing. They didn’t really know what was going on, everybody told everybody else what was going on and they just started participating,” Cynthia Alsup said. “By the time I found out he had been rescued, I was already mobilized to get my other two dogs in my truck and to also get towels that he would need and luckily we bought some fleece blankets at the thrift store earlier that day.”
Alsup said Sparky was shaking when a police officer brought him to her. Two officers responded to the situation, she said. The pup immediately jumped into Alsup’s lap.
“I tried to get him as warm as I could,” she said. “I had the officer turn my heater on.... As soon as my husband got there we took off.”
Alsup said she asked if there was an emergency veterinarian in Crescent City, only to be told that there was one out of the area. She said she decided that she and her husband would keep an eye on the dog.
So far, the only thing odd about Sparky’s adventure, Alsup said, was that he was incredibly thirsty. She said she has been monitoring his breathing and making sure that he wasn’t hurt.
Alsup said she thinks one of the things that helped Sparky find his way to shore was people calling his name. Since he lost his sight in 2016 from glaucoma, Alsup said she noticed that Sparky has relied on his hearing and other senses to help him find his way around.
Alsup said she’d also like to thank a man named Bobby who helped her get her two other dogs into her vehicle.
“He was trying to be reassuring,” Alsup said of Bobby. “At that point it’s really hard to know; Sparky’s heart could have given out or he could have swallowed too much water and drowned. Anything could have happened. (We’d) like to thank the people that helped; everybody that helped bring our little guy back to shore.”
Reach Jessica Cejnar at email@example.com .