Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Diego’s rescue

By Ray Kisonas, Monroe News

Diego the dog hasn’t learned the doggie paddle, but thanks to a group of neighborhood boys he’s one lucky duck, er ... dog.
Diego is a 1-year-old pit bull-American bulldog mix who wandered from his South Monroe Townsite home Sunday and somehow ended up in the deep quarry on the other side of S. Monroe St.
A group of teen boys spotted the dog struggling in the water. They acted quickly, saved Diego, brought him home and earned everlasting gratitude from the dog’s family.
“Those guys were amazing,” said Melina Harrell. “My dog would have died without them.”
On Sunday morning Diego wandered away unnoticed from the family home at E. Dunbar Rd. and Edgewood St. While family members, including Mrs. Harrell’s teen son, Avery, looked for the dog, a group of neighborhood boys was heading toward the quarry.
Jake Sharpe, 15, his brother, Josh, and two friends, Randy Stepp and Tristian Horney, all 13, were walking toward the quarry when Jake noticed Diego in the water. The dog was struggling, trying to get back up onto the rocks but couldn’t do it.
“Its head kept going under water,” Jake said. “It looked like it was drowning.”
Jake quickly jumped in and reached the tired dog. The teen helped push the dog up to the others who pulled Diego ashore.
The boys knew it was Avery’s dog so they walked it back home. Mrs. Harrell said Diego never went swimming before and doesn’t know how. She believes her dog probably fell into the quarry trying to get a drink on a hot day.
“The boys came up with Diego and said, ‘We just saved your dog,’” she said. “I was in tears. I was bawling.”
Mrs. Harrell, 36, said although Diego looks intimidating, he’s just a big, friendly puppy.
“He’s harmless,” she said. “He’s just a big teddy bear.”
The incident was traumatic for the playful dog and he has been cautious and tired since, Mrs. Harrell said. Diego also suffered injuries to his paws and was noticeably limping the day after. He was treated by a veterinarian and Mrs. Harrell said the padding on the paws is torn from Diego trying to get up on the rocks.
But the family dog should fully recover. She said if it wasn’t for the boys and their quick action, Diego would have drowned.
“I just can’t thank these boys enough,” Mrs. Harrell said. “If it wasn’t for them, he wouldn’t have been able to get out of that quarry.”

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