The Bridge between Dog and Man
“A dog, a man, a bridge in tale of terror, love”. The Miami Herald
“Dog in pink sweater survives fall off Brickell drawbridge”.
“A terrier is rescued after a steep plunge from a drawbridge on Brickell Avenue in Miami”.
Dog Falls Off Brickell Drawbridge; Saved By David Bernstein, Good Samaritan.
Huffington Post, July 19, 2012
Last Wednesday morning when we were getting ready for our Summer Camp Adventure I received a text from David (better known as “Branson’s Dad”, Branson being the handsome German Shepherd and good friend of many of your and our dogs). The text said, “Are you home right now? I will stop by in 5 minutes.”
When he arrived I noticed how worried he was and my immediate concern was for Branson. Then he started to tell me what had happened the night before….a small dog caught on the drawbridge…it was going up…the dog made eye contact with him….. he tried to get the bridge operator to stop…. nothing….. so he ran to save the dog, he almost made it, was so close…but it was too late…and the poor dog felt into the dark, into the water.
“Nobody helped, no one did anything. I feel so bad, I was so close but the river took him. What can I do? How can I find the owners to tell them that they don’t have to continue searching for him? Their dog is gone.”
My heart was so sad for the dog, for David, for the owners, for the people that did not do anything to help, for all the dogs that are lost, for all the humans that are lost in this busy, running life.
I knew exactly what David meant when he said, “He looked at me, I looked at him, right into his eyes, they were telling me something.” I understand that with all my being. I know that connection, that looking into the eyes and inside the being. I have experienced that and felt its power. It happened not too many years ago with a lost Boxer mix who looked me right in the eye, saying, “Save me”. Hours later, Ludo and I were able to catch him. “Rico” now lives happy in Oregon with my best friend Jen.
But David’s story was different. It had a sad ending.
David said….”I feel that the fact that I was there had some meaning, that the dog chose me to save him and I failed.” I hugged him with all my heart and told him that yes, it had a meaning, just one that he may not understand until the future, that someday he will find a way to explain it. I said that I was sorry.
Little did we know how soon that future would be…
I went to train with my campers but the feeling of what had happened, what David had shared with me was present all the time. David was sad. I was sad too.
David did not go to work. He returned to the bridge to search for the dog. He found nothing, heard nothing. He left, he returned. Making this beautiful story short (and sweet):
“The mixed breed dog in a pink sweater was found in a restricted area below the bridge. Bridge operators say it is a miracle the dog was able to land safely on a cement slab, but recent rains had cushioned the fall”
Who found this miracle dog? David. He was meant to be there. He did not give up. He returned. He found the dog. He saved the dog. He committed himself to it with time, with energy, with life, with dreams, with magic, with beliefs. He took many steps forward, where no one else believed it was possible, or worthwhile, to go and he arrived at this small lost but now found dog.
When he shared this second part of the tale with me I was so so happy, so full of joy. I pledged, “David, you are my teacher and the next time I have to take action I will go farther and believe deeper”.
I stopped working and went directly to the Brickell Animal Hospital to see this little dog. She, not he, is a beautiful mixed Terrier who we will be fostering until her family (or a new family) can be found.
David comes by everyday to spend time with her and to keep their magic connection.
By the way, do you know Brickell means “little bridge”? When the clinic asked for her name for the records I answered, “For now it’s ‘Brickell’. After all, she fell and then was rescued on that little bridge!