Patrick Dunleavy was in the right place at the right time this weekend. 

While doing some yardwork for his mom as part of a belated Mother’s Day promise, Dunleavy encountered a dog that was off-leash. Dunleavy told Bungalower that when he took a break from the yard work to approach her, the collar-less dog ran off and jumped into nearby Lake Highland. 

The dog tried to get up on a dock further down the shoreline but couldn’t pull itself up, so it spun around and swam deeper into the middle of the lake, where it continued to swim in frantic circles, quickly exhausting itself. 

So Dunleavy quickly hopped on his paddleboard, paddled out to the middle of the lake, and hauled the dog up on the board before towing the board and the dog safely to the shore. He and his girlfriend walked the dog to nearby Loch Haven Veterinary Hospital where they were happy to discover a chip and tried to reach out to the owners – who didn’t respond. 

Dunleavy and his family were scheduled to leave town the next day so they made the tough decision to leave the dog in the shelter – who reported that they found the owner and that she is home safe. 

The Dunleavy family would love to hear from the dog’s family and see the dog again if possible. If you’re the owner, let us know and we’ll put you in contact for a little reunion.

Also, kudos to Patrick for jumping in and being a real cool dude and saving the dog.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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  1. Nice job. I found a dog swimming in the intracoastal at night in Ormond by the Sea. She jumped off a dock and got swept by the tide up to Highbridge and it happened to be just coming in from fishing. She was happy as a clam to get in my boat and soak me with happiness. A family at the boat took her to find the owner. Don’t know what happened after that.

  2. Very awesome to hear all around. Dog got saved and reacquainted with the owners. My question: How did the dog get loose? I have a ton of scenarios running through my mind as to how this dog got free

  3. Hooray for Patrick!! Thank you for doing the right thing!! As a proud pup owner, I’d gladly buy you a drink or dinner, or BOTH! Good job!!!

  4. We need more humans like Patrick in this world. Thank you for being a kind compassionate human being with empathy in your soul💕🙏

  5. Patrick comes from a family who would all do the same thing for an animal or person in need of help. That’s just how the Dunleavy’s roll and I’m so fortunate to have them as my extended family. Nice work Patrick!