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Rescuers Continue Search For Owner Of Dog Rescued In San Francisco Bay

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A dog named "Richard Parker" from the novel "The Life of Pi" was rescued by boater Adam Cohen from San Francisco Bay on August 13, 2013. (Berkeley Dog and Cat Hospital)

A dog named “Richard Parker” from the novel “The Life of Pi” was rescued by boater Adam Cohen from San Francisco Bay on August 13, 2013. (Berkeley Dog and Cat Hospital)

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BERKELEY (CBS SF) — A free-spirited pooch found stranded in the middle of the San Francisco Bay Monday afternoon is in the loving care of her Berkeley rescuers while the search for her owner continues.

The dog was paddling in the water near Angel Island when Adam Cohen, of Berkeley, on his small boat he takes to commute into San Francisco, saw four windsurfers with their sails down, Cohen’s wife Lisa Grodin said Wednesday.

“They did a heroic thing out there,” Grodin said Wednesday from her family’s Berkeley hills home. “Everyone who was out there took a risk trying to make sure the dog got saved.”

The surfers were attempting to put the struggling dog onto their boards and when Cohen arrived it was determined getting her onboard was the most immediate and efficient plan.

Grodin said her husband said that the dog was tired as he brought her to shore.

He then called Grodin and told her, “Hey looks like we have a visitor.”

The professional violinist who works at Berkeley’s Crowden Music Center said she prepared towels and hot water bottles and that it took nearly two hours for the young dog to warm up.

Eventually the dog pushed through her watery ordeal and Cohen and Grodin said the young dog that seems to be less than a year old didn’t look abused and was in good health. She has a collar but no tags, Grodin said.

The dog appears to be a brown-haired Italian mastiff and is taking well to her temporary home with Grodin, Cohen and their two sons.

“She’s amazing, somebody has taken some care of her,” she said.

The family hopes to find the dog’s owner and understand how the puppy ended up in the middle of the bay.

“I’m really quickly falling for her and it’s only been a couple days,” she said. “I would be hard-pressed to part with her.”

She said the playful pup is adjusting to her new surroundings, including the family’s dog, and that the large puppy already follows Grodin everywhere. She said the dog is somewhat trained and that it’s “really clear that she’s used to looking at somebody for direction.”

“She’s very chummy,” Grodin said. “This dog is really adorable. She’s completely irresistible”

Grodin has been staying at home with the dog that the family has dubbed “Richard Parker” after the tiger in Yann Martel novel, “The Life of Pi” that similarly was stranded in the ocean.

A self-described dog person, Grodin said taking care of the dog has been a joy and she’s honored to be part of the rescue effort.

She cannot fathom how the dog ended up in the water. She listed possible scenarios including someone abandoning her, the dog somehow swimming from land, or falling off a boat.

As of Wednesday afternoon no one had claimed the puppy, however according to staff at the Berkeley Dog and Cat Hospital there have been at least two inquiries about adopting her.

A steady stream of visitors have come to visit Richard Parker at the Grodin-Cohen home, including two of the windsurfers that initially spotted the dog. One brought his daughter to see the puppy, Grodin said.

Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society and dog and cat hospital officials are working with the family to get the word out about the rescued dog and trying to locate the owner.

If finding the owner proves impossible, the dog may go up for adoption.

“If we feel like we can part with her, we want to make sure she has a loving home,” Grodin said.

Anyone with information about the dog’s owner is asked to contact the hospital at (510) 848-5041.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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