We’ve all felt unappreciated at times. We know the feeling when we work as hard as we can, but instead of thanks, we get a brush off.
Some occupations are more thankless than others. Police officers, for instance, quite often feel overworked and underappreciated.
Two police officers, in particular, felt the sting of rejection recently. They had done their best to go above and beyond in “protecting and serving” but received the worst possible response.
Milwaukee Police Officers Joe Spingola and Mike Smith were at McGovern Park helping some kids untangle their fishing gear from the lagoon’s weeds when they heard a splash.
Fearing a small child had fallen in, they raced to the edge to see if their help was needed. At first they didn’t see anything.
The Milwaukee Police Department’s official Facebook page reported the rest of the story.
“Looking around to find what it was, they saw movement below the weeds and lily pads,” the post reads. “A small dog had fallen or jumped into the lagoon.”
Luckily the little dog was in the shallow edge of the lagoon so they could easily reach it and pull it from the water. They retrieved it and set it on dry ground so it could shake itself rid of some of the water and weeds it had accumulated.
Instead of sticking around to say thank you, the little dog suddenly raced off towards a group of families further down the lagoon. The officers assumed it was headed towards its people, so they didn’t follow it.
A few moments later, they heard another splash. They couldn’t believe their eyes.
The same dog was back in the water. This time he was even further out and was getting deeper in trouble right before their eyes.
They didn’t have any equipment that would reach him. It was becoming obvious that the little guy was really in trouble this time. He was getting tangled up in the weeds and muck. They knew how treacherous that was after just helping the kids get their fishing lines untangled from it.
He was getting tangled up in the weeds and muck. They knew how treacherous that was after just helping the kids get their fishing lines untangled from it.
They had radioed the fire department, asking for a ladder that would extend out over the lagoon to make a rescue easier. But, it was obvious that help wouldn’t get there in time.
There was no time to wait. Officer Spingola realized that it was up to him to go into the water or watch as the dog went under the weeds for the last time.
So, into the water he went. Not only was the dog at risk, but now the dedicated officer trying to save him was risking his own life.
The Facebook post explained, “A few feet off the shoreline the water is only a few feet deep, but then there is a huge drop off to an unknown depth. Deeper than the officer is tall, requiring him to swim. Swimming back to shore with the dog, Officer Spingola kept getting tangled up in the weeds too.”
Officer Spingola managed to keep the dogs head above water while swimming through the murky water. His partner stayed on the bank, videoing the rescue and being ready to jump into action if necessary.
Officer Spingola finally reached the bank and pulled himself out of the water. He kept a firm hand on the little dog. He didn’t want to risk having to take another swim.
After talking to everyone visiting the park and those who lived nearby, the little dog still hadn’t been claimed. It seemed to enjoy the attention, but the officers had to get back to work.
They took the little guy to the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission(MADACC) and examined.
“It appears to be a happy and healthy, eight-year-old, brown poodle mix,” the police’s post reads.
According to FOX 61, the dog was given the nickname “Phelps,” after the Olympics star, due to its love for swimming.
Why would a dog risk its life over and over in such a way? Perhaps it just had a desire to swim and the mucky lagoon was the only spot of water nearby.
After all, genetics run deep. Poodles were originally bred to retrieve downed waterfowl for their hunter owners. Perhaps this little fellow was just trying to live up to his heritage?
Whatever the reason, we’re very glad that the officers that were nearby when he decided to take a dangerous bath were animal lovers.
The owners of “Phelps” still haven’t stepped forward, despite all the media attention. MADACC hopes to find them soon or the dog will have to be put up for adoption.
Hopefully, whoever adopts him will buy him a kiddie pool for some safer splashing in the future.