A dog that was feared dead after falling from his owner’s boat into Lake Washington on Saturday is back at home.
Gary Stevens took Sinbad with him to enjoy the water on the hot day. The lake was full of boaters because of Seafair, and Stevens said waves were crashing over the bow of the boat as he passed the SR 520 floating bridge and headed out toward the middle of the lake.
“(Sinbad) was on the back and when I looked back he was gone, nowhere to be found,” said Stevens.
Stevens searched for two hours, trying to find Sinbad - or his body.
“I was thinking with all that is going on this is the worst thing that could have happened, period. I’m trying to figure out how I am going to tell the kids as this will kill them. I can't believe how stupid I had to be to let this happen,” he said.
But Stevens could not find his best friend. He contacted the police, and the King County Sheriff’s Office posted a tweet about the missing dog.
German Shepherd missing on Lake Wa.Jumped out of owners boat near east sideof 520 bridge just south of bridge. Get word out.— Cindi West (@kingcosoPIO) August 4, 2012
At about the same time, Cindy Springer and her family were on their boat, returning from watching the Blue Angels, when under the SR 520 east high rise, her husband Larry spotted a dog paddling desperately in the water.
“He yelled to our son Adam, who was driving the boat. Adam grabbed a life jacket and jumped in to rescue the poor, frantic dog,” Cindy said.
“Luckily Adam is a big guy and a cross trainer, because the dog was a big black Shepherd that must have weighed 90 pounds,” she said.
Cindy and Larry took the dog to the Homeward Pet Adoption Center in Woodinville, where they found that the dog was chipped.
The vet who chipped the dog was contacted and he was able to give Homeward the pet's name – Sinbad.
Adam and his friend Zak joked that because Sinbad is such a good swimmer, he should be called “Phelps,” Cindy said.
Sinbad and his owner were reunited, and Stevens said next time he’ll put a life vest on the dog.
“I never thought I’d put a life vest on a 100-pound German Shepherd but life vest, yeah, for sure,” he said.