— -- Two couples on a birthday boat trip off the coast of Florida ended up rescuing a stranded Jack Russell terrier named Jagermeister.
Bruce Knecht was the first to spot the small pup in the water Sunday while boating with his wife, Robin Knecht, and their friends Michael and Shawn Sahr.
“At first I thought it was a floating buoy in the water,” Knecht said today on “Good Morning America” from Odessa, Florida. “And then I said, ‘Oh my goodness.’”
He added: “I saw two brown eyes and almost thought it was a child and [I] turned the boat around instantly and headed to the dog.”
Bruce Knecht pulled Jagermeister, who was wearing a life preserver, from the water.
“As soon as he saw the bow of the boat come around, he started paddling as fast as he could toward us and I just leaned over and picked him up,” Knecht said, adding that the dog was in “pretty good condition.”
Shawn Sahr called the U.S. Coast Guard from the boat and learned that the search was already on for Jagermeister, who had fallen off his owner’s boat.
“They said that earlier that morning they’d had a report of a dog overboard and had been trying to reach the owner after we let them know that we had found him,” Sahr said. “We waited where we were for quite a while until they could let us know the status of reaching him.”
The four rescuers were able to witness Jagermeister’s reunion with his owner, Joey.
“It was wonderful,” Robin said. “The dog started licking his [owner’s] face.”
“We all got tears in our eyes.”