He wasn’t wearing a collar. He looked like some type of Chow mix, dark-haired with extra skin folds around his face. And he was struggling in the dark water behind a Miami Beach home.
So Miami Beach firefighter Emilio Sanchez dove in after him. With help, the mature dog who was quickly given the name Champ by firefighters, made his way to shore and seems to be doing well.
It was around noon on Thursday when fire rescue was summoned to 8600 Byron Ave. Champ was flailing about in the Intracoastal behind the home just a few yards from the seawall.
When Sanchez reached him, he pulled the dog toward the seawall where another firefighter was waiting with a plank. The dog was pushed onto it by Sanchez and grabbed around the back of his neck by a firefighter on land.
Champ struggled the last few feet successfully to reach terra firma.
After about 30 minutes, Miami Beach spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said, Champ regained his energy and began drinking water. He’s now hanging out comfortably at the air-conditioned police station.
City personnel are looking to see if Champ has an embedded computer chip so he can be returned or claimed by his rightful owner.
Otherwise, said Berthier, “he’s doing well.”