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Dog Found Safe After Falling Off Boat In River

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A little life vest-wearing dog that slipped off a boat in the Chicago River Sunday evening is back with his owners, after a nearly 24 hour search and the help of some good people.

As WBBM Newsradio's Bernie Tafoya reports, owner Linn Lewis of St. Charles says she and her husband, Mark, can't say enough good about the good Samaritans who spotted their dog, Tank, and took him in near the river, or about the police Marine Unit and U.S. Coast Guard, which helped search for the 10-pound Pomeranian Sunday night.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Bernie Tafoya reports


Lewis says she and her husband had been boating on Lake Michigan Sunday and, after dinner, were cruising up the North Branch of the Chicago River when Tank slipped off their boat.

She says the dog is not one to jump into the water after something.

Normally, the couple tethered the dog during boat trips. But Tank was wearing a life vest.

After calling in the police Marine Unit and the Coast Guard for a short while, Lewis says she and her husband searched until almost 3:30 Monday morning, but didn't find their dog.

After almost giving up hope on Monday afternoon, Linn Lewis says a woman from the Ravenswood neighborhood said she'd spotted Tank around Lawrence and Virginia avenues, near the river. Tank was still wearing a life vest and was playing with some children.

When the woman went to get the dog, he ran into and alley and she couldn't catch him.

Shortly after that, another woman in the neighborhood, Megan Kantos, called the Lewises. She had taken in the dog, and fed him and given him water. She hadn't heard Tank was missing until her nieces told her.

The woman refused the $500 reward.

The Lewises say they and their four children were devastated at the prospect of losing Tank, who had been all over the country with them on trips and was a part of their lives.

"We went from complete devastation to complete elation. We are so overwhelmingly happy," Linn Lewis said. "We are overjoyed to have our family member back. We love him so much."

Tank went on Tuesday with Mark Lewis to his medical practice, as the dog does every day.

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