Dog Rescued From Lake Michigan Is ‘a Real Michael Phelps’

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A dog rescued from Lake Michigan on Chicago’s North Side Monday was reunited with its owner days after the pet went missing from a city dog beach. 

Officers received a call of a dog in the water around 10 a.m. CT and called the Chicago Police Marine Unit and the Chicago Fire Department for help. 

“I was surprised because the dog had been in the water for a least half and hour from what we can estimate,” said Officer Jennifer Terzich, who was flagged down by citizens who saw the dog in the lake. 

Terzich said she watched the dog, named Laila, until rescue crews arrived and the animal was pulled from Lake Michigan, about a half-mile offshore.

“I am a dog lover,” Terzich said. “I’ll pretty much do anything for a dog. I love them. I just wanted to make sure the dog was alive and going to be able to get back to shore.” 

Dr. Eileen Murphy at West Wrigley Animal Hospital said the dog was brought to her clinic by a group of officers Monday morning. The clinic was able to scan the dog for a microchip and located the owner.

“The owner lost the dog on Saturday and thought for sure that he wasn’t gonna get her back,” Murphy said. 

Murphy said the dog was scared but drank some water and was given treats. 

“My first thought was, ‘Is she alive?’ I didn’t think she was going to make it through the weekend but this girl is a fighter, she can survive,” said owner Charles Bogenberger. “I said, ‘I’m coming right over. Where do I need to pick her up?'” 

Bogenberger said he was at the Montrose Dog beach when Laila ran out of a gate that had been left open.

“I hadn’t even fully applied my sunscreen before she escaped through the double doors,” he said, adding that he spent his weekend scouring area parks with a group of people looking for the beloved pet. 

The pair were reunited Monday afternoon after the harrowing rescue. 

“I had no idea she could swim until yesterday but apparently she’s a real Michael Phelps,” Bogenberger said. 

Laila was adopted by Bogenberger from a shelter in Denver, Colorado. She had been found on a street in Houston, sick and malnourished, Bogenberger said. 

“She learned a lot of survival skills down there that helped her survive a weekend in Chicago,” he said. 

“I am so impressed they were willing to take a boat out into the middle of the harbor to bring her back,” Bogenberger added. “Honesty, Laila is pretty afraid of strangers, but the way she’s warmed up to them just since they rescued her is kind of incredible. It’s a testament to how friendly and genuine these people are.” 

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  • Towels and blankets - Shelters are often cold and animals like to have a blanket to curl up on. Towels are a big help to dry animals off after being bathed or if they come in wet. Towels can also be used to line the bottoms of cages. The towels or blankets don't have to be brand new or in perfect condition. The animals won't mind, as long as they're usable.
  • Canned and Dry Food for Cats and Dogs-Healthy - Healthy pet options for nourishment
  • Kitty litter and cat boxes - Cats go to the bathroom- a lot. Shelters are constantly using bag after bag of litter. Their supply runs out fast.
  • Puppy or kitten formula and nursing bottles - Sometimes there are situations where a young puppy or kitten who is not weaned gets separated from their mother. In these situations they need puppy or kitten formula to survive.
  • Old newspaper - When you're done with your newspapers you usually just throw them away or recycle them, right? You could help animals at no cost to you if you just save up your old newspapers. Newspapers are used in the bottoms of cages. They get soiled quickly, so they're in constant demand.
  • Collars, harnesses, and leashes - Dogs who are taken out on walks need a leash and collar or harness. The shelter loses some because adopted dogs often go home with their leash or harness.
  • Grooming supplies - Grooming supplies can include shampoo, brushes, combs, haircutting scissors, etc. Dogs and cats often come in dirty or end up getting dirty. Grooming supplies can keep them fresh, clean, and adoptable.
  • Toys - You would get bored if you had to lay in a crate alone all day, wouldn't you? Animals in shelters get bored, too. It keeps the animals from being so lonely and bored and allows them to get exercise. You could go out and buy new toys, or you could donate toys your pets or children may have not gotten much use out of. It's as simple as that.
  • Crates and carriers - Animals need to be transported somehow, and the cost of multiple crates and carriers can add up quickly. You can donate ones you stopped using that are still in good condition or you could go buy one for a decent price. This helps the shelter tremendously.
  • Paper towels and cleaning supplies - There are a lot of situations that get messy, so paper towels are a big help.
  • Hand wash and hand sanitizer - People who work at shelters need to keep their hands clean for their and the animals' health.
  • Laundry detergent, fabric softener, and bleach - Towels and blankets get soiled often so the washing machines are being used a lot
  • Dog and cat beds - this can offer the animals a soft place to lay instead of a kennel or cage floor.
  • Heating pads - Many animals come in cold or are young and need warmth. Heating pads can replace a mother's warmth.
  • Copy paper and pens, pencils, post-it notes and staples - You can't forget about all the paperwork that has to be done. Donating these items makes it so the shelter doesn't have to buy them on their own.
  • Garbage bags, mops, brooms, and sponges - The shelter uses these every day and clean up supplies can get expensive.
  • Food bowls - As new animals come in, the shelter needs new places to put food. Having an adequate supply could mean life or death for an animal in a shelter.
  • Rubber and latex gloves - A lot of messy stuff happens and gloves are necessary to lessen the spread of germs.
  • Plastic shopping bags - Plastic bags can be used to clean up dog mess and to store things in.

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