Man saw dog teetering on the edge of a 14 story building and had to make a split-second decision

December 1, 2017 12:07 pm Last Updated: December 2, 2017 6:33 pm

What do you do when you see something dangerous that nobody else does? What do you do when you see a life hanging in the balance, teetering precariously on the edge between life and death? There usually isn’t much time to figure out the best course of action. The most important thing is that action is taken.

That’s exactly what one man in Portland, Oregon, did. Ted Nelson was sitting in his living room when he noticed something across the street that made his blood run cold. There wasn’t much time to think about what to do, but being the only one that saw what was about to happen, he had to do something.

Across the street from Ted’s apartment was a Bichon Frisé perched anxiously on the edge of a balcony 14 stories high.

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“I just looked out my window at my apartment at the apartment across the street. There was a dog that had ended up climbing through the railing on its balcony and it was perched on this little ledge,” Ted told

Ted noticed that the dog looked distressed. It looked like it wanted to climb back through the bars and get back onto the balcony, but didn’t have the space to do so. “I might have to catch this dog,” he thought to himself as he went bolting out of his apartment.

In huge strides, Ted raced across the street thinking he might have to catch the fluffy white pooch if it lost its balance.

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Just as Ted was crossing the street, the dog fell. It plunged towards the earth, hurtling itself towards the ground with what was surely going to result in an unexpected and nightmarish scene for everyone around.

Then, just as the cotton ball shaped pup was 6 or 7 feet from kingdom come, Ted swooped under him, catching him against his chest. The dog, later identified as Mordy, let out a yelp. But he was alive. A trip to the vet would reveal a few bruises, but otherwise Mordy was no worse for the wear.

“I just looked up at it and it was looking at me and it landed right in my chest,” Ted said.

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Ted wasn’t able to catch Mordy cleanly, but was able to break his fall enough to keep him alive.

“Caught it for a minute, kind of fell, it did hit the ground. It let out a yelp but it was a huge relief to hear it yelp,” he continued. For his heroism, PETA honored Ted Nelson with a Compassionate Action Award.

Mordy’s owners say that losing him would have been traumatizing, and he’s thankful that Ted was there to save his little buddy. He doesn’t know what he would have done if the story ended differently.

Coincidentally, this isn’t the first time Ted has saved an animal free-falling from a balcony. Years ago, he saved a cat who was in a similar situation. He’s happy he has been at the right place at the right time more than once; but doesn’t want it to happen a third time.

“Hopefully that’s it. Hopefully there’s no more incidents,” he said.