New Jersey has a reputation for tough guys. Apparently, the state breeds tough dogs, too.
A beagle named Brandi somehow managed to survive a 70-foot fall -- yes, a 70-foot fall -- from a New Jersey bridge. And she lived to bark about it.
The Courier-Post reports that the dog got away from its owner during a walk Friday night along the riverfront promenade in Burlington, N.J., overlooking the Delaware River and located just outside Philadelphia.
Officer Rob Bittner told the newspaper he spotted Brandi strolling over the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, headed toward Pennsylvania. The officer turned on his vehicle’s emergency lights to slow traffic and began slowly trailing the dog, looking for an opportunity to grab her.
“I didn’t want to scare her by chasing after her,” said Bittner, who is a Burlington County Bridge Commission police officer.
But at the top of the bridge, Brandi began struggling as she tried to walk across the steel grating -- her paws getting stuck in the framework. Meanwhile, a group of kids traveling in a car approaching from the opposite direction also noticed Brandi in distress, and stopped to help.
The dog panicked. Brandi ran to the edge of the bridge and jumped. Bittner told the newspaper that he was shocked at what he saw when he ran to the railing and looked down: “She was swimming and made it to the shoreline.”
Meanwhile, the dog’s owner, Alexis Lorenz, was frantically looking for her beagle when she saw the officers, who told her about the dog’s death-defying jump. A search was launched along the river banks.
Lorenz found the beagle, frightened, cold and cowering, about midnight. The following day, a vet examined Brandi and found some bruising, but not much else. “She was considerably lucky not to have broken any bones,” Dr. Jeanette Pettit of the Willingboro Veterinary Clinic told the newspaper.
Lorenz told the newspaper that from now on, Brandi will be wearing a harness when she goes out for a walk.
Bittner told the newspaper that Brandi is truly doggone lucky.
“When you are in this line of work, things don’t always work out for the best, but in this situation we are glad she [Lorenz] found the dog,” he said.