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Panicked Pooch From Leonia Storms George Washington Bridge After Fourth Of July Fireworks

LEONIA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A runaway dog dodged traffic on the lower level of the George Washington Bridge, but was rescued just in time.

The 10-year-old shepherd mix named "Charlie" was happy to be back in his owner's arms Friday after a terrifying journey alone through busy roads and then on the GWB. He was rescued by a Port Authority police officer after appearing near the edge of the bridge, 200 feet above the water.

"He's a smart dog ... that he might not know it was dangerous. The feeling of not being there to protect him was really strong," Tom Robinson, Charlie's owner, told CBS 2's Christine Sloan.

Robinson said the smart pooch took off from his Leonia home, where he lives part of the week, after being frightened by a fireworks show in the neighborhood.

"He's athletic, a good jumper and it's important he grew up around cars and knows they're dangerous," Robinson said.

For Charlie, it was an 11-hour ordeal that ended on the catwalk of the GWB, a three-mile walk from his Leonia home.

"He probably got from the Jersey highways and he had to go under a metal area. He must have snuck under," Officer Kameel Juman said.

Officer Juman rescued after responding to a 911 call.

"I had a leash and collar and he let me put it on him. I don't know if he was scared or exhausted or a little bit of both," Officer Juman said.

Charlie apparently had a run in with a skunk, WCBS 880 reported, and cut his leg on a fence. He later got stitches.

His owner said he thinks he was trying to make it to their other home in Manhattan on the Upper East Side.

"He tried to make it to the place he knew best and he'd never gone that way except inside a car," Robinson said.

Charlie didn't have his home phone number on his leash but he had a New York City dog license tag and that is how Port Authority police were able contact his owner," CBS 2's Sloan reported.

"If we hadn't gotten that dog license it would have been another disappeared dog story," Robinson said.

But instead Charlie is now a super dog, who defied all the odds and survived.

What do you do to keep your pet calm during storms? Got any tips or tricks? Tell us in our comments section below.

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