Last week, with the assistance of Dirk Herbstreet we documented one of the bigger storms we had seen in Nor Cal in recent years and it's impact directly on Sausalito and Richardson Bay areas. What we did not know at the time, was the impact the storm was having on one of man's best friends,
and the dogs owner...
Jani Mara of the Marin Independent Journal filed this report on Sunday:
In a near-miraculous recovery, a dog that was on a boat that sank in Richardson Bay during Thursday's storm swam a mile to shore, walked to a church she had visited with her animal guardian and was reunited with him in an emotional meeting two days later.
Daisy, a brown and white pit bull belonging to Sausalito resident Stephen Alioto, was reunited with Alioto Saturday morning at the Marin Humane Society after a chain of events that ranks as, at the very least, improbable, not to mention heartwarming.
"My neighbor told me there was a soaking wet, shivering dog crouched in the church doorway around 7:30 a.m. Thursday," said the Rev. Paul Mowry of the Sausalito Presbyterian Church. "Initially, I thought she was just a lost dog.
The pastor notified Sausalito police and the Marin Humane Society, who sent an officer to scan Daisy's microchip. The chip yielded two phone numbers.
"I tried the secondary number a couple of times and got somebody who said the dog, Daisy, had been given away to a good friend, Steve. And we (the church) have a Steve who comes to our free lunches on Wednesday," Mowry said. "He lived on the boat with Daisy."
The next day, on Friday, a distraught Steve reported his lost dog to Sausalito police. Police Sgt. Thomas Georges' investigative skills came into play, as he made the connection between the pastor's Thursday report of finding a brown and white pit bull.
"He (Georges) called me and said they took a report – this guy Steve reported his lost dog, a pit bull," Mowry said.
But how to reach Alioto, who was now homeless? "My partner Joey (Joe Silverman) said, 'Where is the next (free) meal in Sausalito where he might be?'" Mowry said.
"The Open Door Ministries does a Friday dinner. So I went there and was talking to a man whose boat had sunk. I asked, 'Is Steve here?' and the man said, 'He's here. His boat sunk and his dog drowned.'
"I walked over and said to Steve, 'We have your dog.' He said, 'Are you kidding me?' I told him the dog showed up at the church. He started sobbing and threw his arms around me," Mowry said.
The next day, the pastor drove Steve to the Humane Society and the two were reunited.
"Steve said to me, 'The things I lost are just things. They can be replaced. But you can't be replaced, and I can't be replaced, and Daisy can't be replaced,'" Mowry said. "That dog is his companion. She's his everything." Steve and Daisy are now staying on a friend's boat, Mowry said.
Reflecting on the dog's saga, Mowry said, "She got herself up through the hatch and out of the boat while it was going down and made it to shore in the dark. I don't know how she did it." The pastor pointed out that the dog had to find a shore that was accessible on foot, since the dog could not climb up a dock.
"It's a remarkable achievement. And then to find her way to the church!" Mowry said.
Alioto told Mowry that he had given Daisy swimming lessons, Mowry said.
"He got a doggie life preserver for her and jumped in the water with her and she made her way to the dock and back to the boat. He taught her how to survive in the water," Mowry said.
Lisa Bloch of the Humane Society said, "One thing that to me is particularly poignant is here is a man who has lost everything, but he at least has his companion.
"When Steve came to pick the dog up we provided him with a new leash and dog food," Bloch said. "A woman just happened to come by to drop off a donation of a 50-pound bag of dog food and she turned around and gave it to Steve."
The Humane Society is accepting donations of food and pet toys, needs that are especially apparent this time of year, Bloch said.
"As they were leaving, a Good Samaritan heard the story and handed some money toward Daisy's care," Bloch added.
"This is a beautiful story and I think it says a lot about our community here in Marin and how much we care about animals and people," Bloch said.
CBS 5 Piece