By Cailey Rizzo
May 07, 2019
Danita Delimont/Getty Images

You usually don’t know who is going to change your life until it’s already been changed.

A man in New York City likely did not imagining jumping into the East River to save a dog over the weekend. The dog probably didn’t imagine it either. But neither could have imagined how their rendezvous would turn out. And now neither will ever be the same.

Lorenzo Fonda was at Brooklyn Barge, a riverfront bar, on May 4 when a crowd began to form, looking out over the river.

“I heard someone mentioning a dog swimming so looked out and saw the dog already far out in the middle of the river,” Fonda told Gothamist. “I have no idea how it ended up in there, if it jumped on its own or if it fell, and I didn't think of asking."

Fonda started recording the dog swimming around the river. There was no way of knowing it would turn into one of the most surprisingly dramatic NYC rescue missions in recent history.

An Instagram story of the entire event can be seen here

There was even a helicopter involved at one point.

After a crowd gathered around the pier, one man decided that enough was enough and dove into the East River to rescue the doggy-paddler. The crowd cheered him on and, at the moment he reached the dog, the crowd around the river lifted their voices in cheer.

The man likely thought the hardest part of the rescue mission was over. He guided the dog back to the safety of the rocks. But as the man was trying to corral the dog ashore, the dog launched back and bit him in the face.

In the video, someone explains the dog’s behavior, saying that he is “just afraid.” To which another onlooker replies, “well, yeah, obviously.”

But despite the tense moment, the man did not abort his mission. He guided the dog back to the rocks, where both were welcomed as they lay panting.

There were people crying. It was emotional.

Although we can only assume the whole thing ended happily, there aren’t any reports as to what happened to either the dog or his rescuer.

"When the dog was handed to the cops everyone soon lost interest and went back to drinking and hanging out, and that's all I know about the situation," Fonda told Gothamist.

Another day in New York City.  

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