Neighbors and Fire Rescue Come Together to Save Coco the Pug

Saturday, January 4th was just like any other morning. Oakland Park resident Kevin Loud Elsasser awoke and did what he normally does every morning. He looked out of the window to enjoy the view of the middle river behind his home. Today something caught his eye. A large figure across the river stood still. Kevin thought to himself “Could this be a goose?” He put his glasses on and, to his surprise, it was not a goose. The reflection in the water made the object appear larger. It was a pug seated on the lower portion of the seawall, mid-chest deep in the water.

Pug in the canal in Oakland Park

evin knew he needed to act immediately. His partner Joe, proceeded to put his bathing suit on, while Kevin dialed 911. Even though the small pug was just across the canal, Kevin had a hard time explaining exactly which house the little pug was wading in front of. As there are no markings on the seawall to indicate a street or house number. He gave them his address and Fire Rescue were able to determine the address from there.

Courtesy of Kevin Loud Elsasser (originally published on Living in Oakland Park Facebook group)

Team Effort to Save Coco 

Fire rescue arrived quickly and tried to determine the best method for rescuing the small pup. She was just out of reach, but not quite far enough to use a ladder to reach her. One of the Fire Rescue team members bent over the seawall and stretched as far as he could to retrieve the pug and another fire rescue team member proceeded to pull them both back up to the safety of land.

Courtesy of Kevin Loud Elsasser (originally published on Living in Oakland Park Facebook group)

Unbeknownst to Kevin and Joe, just about 6 to 7 homes to the west, on the other side of the river the owners of the pug, George Perry and Brandon Triche, had begun their own search party for their beloved Coco. Brandon began searching for Coco in the car and George proceeded to search the neighborhood on foot. Another neighbor who was bike riding joined in the search calling for Coco. Then she suggested that George look on the neighborhood connection app, Nextdoor. He did just that, and sure enough, Kevin’s post about Coco’s rescue was there and they were able to determine that she was taken to Oakland Park Fire Station #21.

Coco and Owners Reunited

They immediately left for the Fire Station where they found Coco safe and sound, the firefighters were smitten with her. They had taken her to a veterinarian to make sure she was in good health and to look to see if Coco was chipped. It was a surprise to find out that five-year-old Coco did not have a chip, as the owners were told that she did. George and Brandon have two other pugs that they have all trained to swim to the edge of the pool. Indeed, Coco remembered that training when she found the small ledge on the seawall where she waited patiently for help.

Happy Ending for Coco and Everyone Involved

Without Kevin and Joe discovering her, George and Brandon’s search, The Oakland Park Fire Rescue team, the neighbor who suggested the Nextdoor App, and Coco’s calm demeanor who knows how long Coco would have been in the water. It was truly the work of a whole community that rescued Coco.

We are happy to report that the adventurous Coco the pug is safe and sound back at home with her owners George and Brandon and her fur siblings Pearl and Baxter. Their owners now plan on installing a fence along the seawall to prevent this in the future.

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*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

About the Author

Rhiannon Samoyedny

Rhiannon Samoyedny

Rhiannon Samoyedny was born and raised in South Florida. She has lived in Oakland Park for over 25 years and purchased her home in Garden Acres in 2012 where she resides with her husband, two teenaged boys, a few rescue cats, and her dog.

Her professional career began as a project manager and estimator for a small Oakland Park construction company and she later went on to earn her degree in Court Reporting, where she later incorporated her own small business RS Reporting, Inc.

She has a passion for gardening and attends many horticulture classes and workshops. She is also an LGA (Local Government Academy) graduate, class of 2019, and an active community volunteer and activist. You can usually find her around town at various Oakland Park meetings and events with her notebook, so be sure to say hello.

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