Dog rescued from Cedar River officially adopted - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dog rescued from Cedar River officially adopted

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A tale of a nearly tragic rescue, which instead gets a happy ending. 

The story begins just short of a month ago when onlookers spotted a large dog struggling to keep her head above the frigid Cedar River in Waterloo. 

Emergency crews were called, but couldn't get to the dog because of ice along the river's banks.    

That's when two fishermen, already on the river, sprang into action, grabbed the dog and pulled all 90 pounds of her into their boat.

The dog was taken to The Cedar Bend Humane Society where she began to recover.

The Cedar Bend Humane Society tried to find the dog's owner, but no one came forward.

That's when a familiar face stepped in. 

Chad Conkling, one of the fishermen that pulled the dog out of the river, stepped forward and took the dog into his home on a foster basis.

He aptly named her, River.

River's story received worldwide attention, as the original video of Conkling pulling her out of the water spread.

That rescue was hard to watch for onlookers and hard to be a part of for Conkling. 

"It was an emotional day," said Conkling. "I was upset about it, seeing that she was in the water struggling like that and that she had to wait for was hard on me, I could just imagine how it was on her."

When rescue crews could not get to the dog they asked Conkling for his help.

"We turned around and we asked them 'hey do you want us to get out of your way?' And they were like 'no, you just go down there and get that dog' and we were like, 'alright,'" said Conkling.

A normal fishing day turned out to be the best day of Conkling's life when he met his new best friend, River.

"That's the biggest thing I've ever caught on this river," said Conkling. "I've never caught nothing that big."

Today, River is officially part of the Conkling family.

"She just started being a part of the family like she was always a part of it," said Conkling, saying she is adapting well, playing, doing tricks and loving her new family.

"She's a good puppy," said Conkling. "She made a big old spot in my heart...she'll be there forever."

River has fully recovered from the tragic minutes she spent treading water in the Cedar River.

"Don't let her swim in that river," joked Conkling.

Conkling is happy he was able to save her and officially bring her home.

"I waited a long time... it felt like and I finally got to make her a part of my family," said Conkling.

The Conkling's are shocked that no one came forward to claim River, but they are so happy they could take her in and give her a loving home.

The Conkling's say River has a clean bill of health and she has exceeded their expectations.

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