Park Police officer saves drowning dog

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By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 19, 2010

A U.S. Park Police detective put her pistol aside Sunday afternoon and jumped into the murky waters of the Washington Channel to save a drowning dog, police said.

Although dogs are generally capable of swimming, this one, known as Scout, appeared in distress, possibly connected to the heat of the day, said Sgt. David Schlosser, a Park Police spokesman.

"The dog was having severe difficulties in swimming," he said.

The matter began to unfold about 2:30 p.m., according to Schlosser, when another Park Police officer spotted the animal in the East Potomac Park area as the officer was heading to the police station there.

The dog, which Schlosser described as a border collie, seemed to "wander in distress" near Ohio and Buckeye drives, he said.

After the officer got to the nearby station, she and others returned to Ohio Drive to pick up Scout, the spokesman said.

But the dog, which was "clearly suffering from some heat issues," appeared unwilling to be taken into custody, Schlosser said.

Instead, he said, Scout jumped into the channel, the broad body of water that flows between the park and the Southwest waterfront.

Radio reports of that incident were picked up by the detective, who headed for the scene.

She recognized that the dog was in distress and was "going to drown," Schlosser said.

The border collie "was done," he added. "Exhausted." He said another officer told him that only its snout remained above water.

The detective removed her gun, made certain that it would be safe, and "[dived] into the channel," Schlosser said, heading straight for the dog. Although earlier it had eluded officers, Schlosser said that now "there was no resistance."

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