HESPERIA – An incident could have ended tragically if it was not for the heroic efforts of Hesperia man who was at the right place at the right time. Scott Zinda as part of his regular exercise routine since 2004, was listening to music and walking along the Aqueduct near Maple street on Saturday evening when he noticed a dog swimming across the aqueduct. The dog appeared strong and he was impressed with how the dog swam across with ease.
Scott said that he over the many years he took that path, he has seen quite a few dogs easily swim the aqueduct. “As I was walking back after a few minutes, I am guessing 7-10 minutes, I look over to my right and saw the dog swimming,” said Scott. “I looked around for an owner and saw no one. I kept expecting the dog to crawl out or see an owner call to it, but then the dog looked very distressed.” He said that the dog began breathing hard and gurgling. He knew then that the dog needed help, and being that he thought about if he ever needed to save himself or someone else from the fast-moving aqueduct waters he quickly ran ahead about 100 feet to a safety ladder and called for the dog. “The dog seemed to want my help [but] as it got closer it’s feet were dragging on the mosses and slipping,” said Scott.
The safety ladders, which are made of chains and wire go along the aqueduct. Scott said he grabbed hold of the ladder and grabbed the dog’s collar. He said he could feel the current pulling the very large dog, but he had a secure grip of both the dog and the ladder. He was unable to lift the very large dog with one hand, so he just made sure to hold the dog partially out of the water so that the dog could catch his breath. “After about 2/3 minutes the dog started to try to climb out, so I pulled it up as it climbed,” said Scott. As it got traction I had to let go so I didn’t fall.The dog immediately bolted away from me.” Scott said that he became concerned when the dog ran away, without his owner in around. He said the dog came back shortly after, but was hesitant to get close to where he was.
Scott took the incident, along with photos to social media hoping that someone would recognize the dog. “I really just wanted the dog to find his home at that point,” said Scott. “I had a few attempts and getting it to come to me but it took off toward Maple street.” As he walked back to his vehicle around 20-30 minutes later, Scott noticed the man that was walking his dog earlier. He asked if he was looking for his dog and the man said, yes. He asked if the dog was a Great Dane and he confirmed that was his dog. Scott pointed in the direction the dog went and the dog’s owner graciously thanked him and shook his hand. He then began running in the direction of the dog. Scott later found out that the dog was safely reunited with his owner and doing well.
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- dog-in-aqueduct: Scott Zinda