Blind senior dog rescued from river

When Dennis Carter and his wife came home to Florida last Friday after a short vacation, all they could think about was giving their beloved dog Elsie a hug.

The Alafia River in Florida. (Photo credit: Florida State Parks)

But when they called for her, Elsie didn’t come running, and after a quick search around their Hillsborough County home, the Carters realized to their horror that Elsie was missing.

Elsie, a 15-year-old mixed breed dog, is blind and partially deaf, and owner Dennis Carter feared the worst. He knew that he would be unable to sleep until Elsie was safe at home.

Carter and his wife immediately went to work, posting flyers with Elsie’s picture and information all over town.

Meanwhile, Brian Peterson, a complete stranger to the Carter family, was busy trying to find the owner of a senior dog he had rescued on July 4.

Peterson had spent the Independence Day holiday jet skiing on the Alafia River. While making another pass through the water on his jet ski, a woman waved her arms and alerted Peterson to a dog struggling in the water.

Acting quickly, Peterson zipped over to the dog on his jet ski and plucked her out of the water.

Peterson’s girlfriend, Dana Moylan, saw Peterson racing to shore with the limp dog in his arms.

“When she was brought up on the island she was almost dead,” Moylan described. “I could tell she was blind.”

The dog soon came too, and though frightened, she appeared to be doing just fine. But Peterson’s work was just beginning — now he had to find out whom the nearly-drowned pooch belonged to.

“We took her home with us and started the process of putting ‘Found Dog’ [flyers] out there,” Peterson said. He even contacted local media outlets to spread the word about the dog he’d found and saved. “We had already got her out on the Humane Society website and put her out on Craigslist under ‘Found Dogs.’”

Dennis Carter found one of Peterson’s flyers that same day, and he was overjoyed.

When Peterson brought Elsie to reunite with Carter Saturday, he told the relieved owner how Elsie had nearly drowned in the Alafia River. Carter believes that Elsie must have followed one of the family’s other dogs out of the house and to the familiar spot.

“The river is right there and that’s where we take them,” Carter explained in a FOX 13 interview. “My thought is that she just walked down there and fell off the dock.”

Carter is beyond grateful to Peterson for saving Elsie, and the men have even struck up a new friendship. “This is a great ending to what could have been a sad story. I think we’ll become friends for life,” Carter said of Peterson.

Source: FOX 13 Tampa Bay