Puppy Lost at Sea Reunites With Family

By Sherley Boursiquot, Epoch Times
June 28, 2016 Updated: June 29, 2016

What was supposed to be a nice outing off the coast of Noank when Clare Shaw and her family were boating along the Connecticut shoreline turned into a grievous one.

On June 26, their 8-month-old Shiba Inu puppy got out of his harness and fell into the ocean.

“After turning around and back tracking for hours, having the coast guard involved, and everyone on shore looking we weren’t able to find our puppy who we thought didn’t know how to swim,” Shaw told WTIC.

Therefore, the only thing Shaw could think was that her pup lost his life. 

“My family came home and we felt defeated, we packed up his things and lit a candle in his cage and assumed our boy lost his life drowning,” she said.

Still, trying to be a little hopeful, Shaw took to Facebook, asking if anyone had seen her dog, Ryder.

Screengrab of Clare Shaw 's Facebook post
Screengrab of Clare Shaw’s Facebook post

Her post was shared over 100 times.

And then suddenly …

Phil Q. Bigelow and his pal, Patrick Jullarine, were the ones who rescued the long lost pup. 

Bigelow recalls Sunday’s event:

So, it started off as a normal day. Myself and my friend, Patrick, were headed out on my boat to fish. We then got a call from our friend, Tommy Nahornick, who was home from the army—also wanting to join in on the fishing trip. We picked him up at a local dock and the three of us who have been friends since 9 years old then headed out from bushy point and pine island for some fishing. About a half mile out, we came to a stop as Patrick and Tom both stood up and asked me ‘Is this a good spot?’ I replied ‘yes’ they asked ‘Are we going to fish here?’ I said ‘no’ and they asked ‘why?’ and I said we have to go rescue this dog first.

As we approached the little guy, Tommy, with one first swipe, pulled the little guy in the boat. We dried him off and immediately gave him water. He was shaking and scared. He stayed on the boat with us for the day and warmed up to us in no time. Not knowing his name we quickly decided Nemo was what we will call him considering he was lost and now found. We brought him to the dock then the real work started trying to get him home. Contacted all local agencies and posted to Facebook. My girlfriend and I took a trip to Walmart and bought him some food a collar and toys to make him feel loved until we found his owners.


Bigelow quickly added that he and his pals are not heroes, instead they did what anyone else would have done. “We were in the right place at the right time,” he said.

“So happy you got him back!” wrote a Facebook user on the picture of Shaw hugging Ryder, after the two were reunited. 

(Photo courtesy of Phil Q. Bigelow)
(Photo courtesy of Phil Q. Bigelow)

(Photo courtesy of Phil Q. Bigelow)
(Photo courtesy of Phil Q. Bigelow)

(Photo courtesy of Phil Q. Bigelow)
(Photo courtesy of Phil Q. Bigelow)

Bigelow added, “I have seen a lot of crazy things while being out on the boat, but this was #1 so far.”

As far as Shaw is concerned, she couldn’t be happier. “We are so thankful for his safe return and are so overwhelmed with how many caring people there are in the community,” she told Epoch Times