Man jumps in river, saves canine close to Sellwood Riverfront Park

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PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) – A dog rescue this weekend in Portland resulted in a man jumping into the Willamette River to rescue the pup.

On Sunday, Bruce Silverman and his wife took their newly adopted 8-year-old Havanese Sunny to Sellwood Riverfront Park.

“He was walking up to someone who was like being on the paved road and I’m not sure what happened, but he was just scared,” said Silverman.

Silverman says he and his wife adopted Sunny about six weeks ago.

He says Sunny used to be a show dog and he and his wife weren’t sure he’d ever been on a leash, so they went to the park off the leash to work with him.

He says Sunny was fine for about twenty minutes, she stayed with the couple and came over when they called him.

But then Silverman says something scared to Sunny.

“Next we knew he was in a full sprint,” said Silverman. I literally never saw the dog run. “

It became an all-hands-on-deck search to get Sunny as viewers tried to help Silverman and his wife.

Sydney Gutin and Tyler Tibbetts arrived when all of this was happening in the park.

“We just looked at each other and both joined the search group, if you will,” Gutin said.

Sunny ran around everywhere and somehow ended up in the river.

Tibbetts made a decision in a split second and jumped into the deep end.

“I dove what got me halfway there and then luckily Sunny when he started me swimming on top of me which was a huge relief so it wasn’t a fight when I was in the water with him,” said Tibbetts.

Both Tibbetts and Sunny had to warm up quickly when they landed.

Tibbetts and Gutin say many onlookers helped with blankets and other clothing, and blew heat into cars to warm up the two.

Both Sunny and Tibbetts are doing fine.

“When you see the dog hovering, I just didn’t get the feeling that there was so much thought, as if there wasn’t so much to decide,” said Tibbetts.

Throughout the ordeal, the group reflects the beauty of humanity.

“He saved the dog’s life. And do you know how I feel about it? You know a moment of inspiring humanity at a time when we all need it, ”said Silverman.

“That human connection was simply missing over the past year, and it was nice to see a group of random strangers come together,” Gutin said.

The group admitted that they might have made some new friends out of it too.

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