Thankfully, Bear is back with his family and ready for life as a service dog.
dog rescued after swimming across river
Credit: Courtesy of Edgewater Fire Company #1

Between New York City and New Jersey, the Hudson River is quite wide—between 1 mile and .5 miles in some places. Swimming across that sounds like absolute, exhausting hell. 

Yet Bear, a Leonberger and Bernese mountain dog mix, managed to do it earlier this week, according to WABC. He went missing from Manhattan on Saturday before Edgewater Fire Company No. 1 found him early Tuesday morning in New Jersey. 

The firefighters found Bear under a pier at Independence Harbor. 

"He's doing great, you would never know that he had this adventure—he's fantastic," his owner, Ellen Wolpin, told WABC. 

How did he do it? For starters, Leonbergers and Bernese mountain dogs are some of the biggest dogs you can find, and Leonbergers enjoy swimming. With the size and know how, you can envision how he was able to paddle across. 

Bear escaped Wolpin on Saturday when they were looking for a new harness for him. According to WABC, he ran down the West Side Highway and then leapt into the water around 110th Street. 

After rescuing him, the firefighters took Bear to an animal hospital and got him some well-earned food. Then he reunited with Wolpin, who'd just brought him home a week earlier. He's going to be a service dog for her son with special needs. 

"I thought he was gone for good. We were so upset, devastated this weekend. We didn't know what to do," she told WABC.

Thankfully, he just decided to go for a very long swim. He and Wolpin's son—Wolpin describes both as "fighters"—will hopefully get to spend many long years together. Mostly on land, hopefully.