Schwarz is one of Buck Clarke’s new heroes.
The barking dog, who Clarke walks regularly for his sister, helped save his life when he fell into the icy Delaware and Raritan Canal on Friday.
Clarke fell into the frozen canal when he was trying to save Schwarz, who fell in while chasing a flock of geese.
“He turns around and goes to push off with his hind legs,” Clarke told ABC 7 New York, who reported the story. “His rear end goes in.”
When Clarke went on the ice to try to get the dog, he fell in too.
“Got out this close to him, then crack, zoom,” he told ABC 7. “I went in instantaneously.”
Luckily, Clarke was able to push Schwarz to safety — and the dog likes to bark, a lot. When he saw Clarke was in trouble, that’s exactly what he did. The barking alerted a neighbor who called first responders to help.
Bound Brook Police Officer Jason Gianotto responded and acted as fast as he could. “It was pretty obvious they had tried to throw a life ring out to him,” he said. “As soon as we got out to him, I grabbed onto him, and you could just see his body went limp. He was doing everything he could physically to stay above water.”
Many others helped rescue Clarke, but he thanked Gianotto later in person.
“He came in and thanked me personally, and that’s something that doesn’t happen all that often,” Gianotto said.
To all those involved, “I am forever indebted,” Clarke said.