The evening that Bob Hoelter decided to walk the 2 miles from his home to the local store in Griffith, Indiana, he wasn’t expecting to save a life. But that’s exactly what he did.
“I usually drive. That night I decided I needed some exercise,” Hoelter said.
It was when he was crossing the bridge that he heard a whimpering noise coming from under the bridge. Concerned, he walked over to understand what was going on.
“I was looking at the water and the land, but I don’t see anything, but I hear it,” he said. “I walked back to land and I walked around and looked around.”
Even as he stood there for a while, the sound never stopped. Finding no other way, he got down on his hands and knees to crawl over the culvert knowing that it was someone that needed help.
“I get my flashlight out because I always carry a flashlight with me,” Hoelter said. “I got to the bottom. I finally see him!”
A small puppy trembling in the cold. But the worse sight was his face. His mouth was taped shut with electrical tape.
“I’m like, ‘Oh, sh*t,” Hoelter said.
Without delay, he cradled the pup in his arms and took him to Griffith Animal Hospital hoping that it wasn’t closed yet.
“I just threw him in my jacket, crawled back up and started hoofing it to the animal hospital,” he said.
Hoelter slamming into the clinic’s door with the puppy in his arms is a sight that Lori Kovacich, the manager of Griffith Animal Hospital, isn’t likely to forget any time soon.
“I was out of my chair and in the lobby to get him in seconds,” Kovacich said.
He immediately took the puppy to the veterinary staff, so quickly that she didn’t even pay much attention to the man standing there. “I think I kind of had tunnel vision,” she said.
Finally relieved that the puppy was being taken care of, Hoelter headed to the store.
Over at the clinic, the vet staff emaciated the pup. They found that his skin underneath the tape was severely damaged which signified that it had been tied around his muzzle for days.
The 4-month-old puppy was put to bed with soft blankets and stuffed animals after he was given proper antibiotic injections and medicines.
It was only later that they discovered a broken leg that needed immediate surgery. The staff believe that he was thrown off the bridge towards the water, but he must have landed on the ground instead.
Kovacich posted the harrowing story on the hospital’s Facebook page with the caption, “In my 30 years of working here, I never thought I’d see this … in real life.”
The post got a lot of attention and Mary Witting, along with her husband Doug, decided to pay a visit to the clinic. The two had been frequent clients of the clinic before their lovely dog passed away. They weren’t exactly planning on adopting another dog, but they couldn’t help themselves in this case.
“I thought, ‘That cute little face, he needs me. I can give him 24/7 love, and I need him,’” Witting said.
The couple loved him the second they met him. They even named him Louie.
Without argument, the pup will now be loved and adored by his new parents. While everyone is thrilled with this result, the rescuer is still a mystery–something that Kovacich constantly banged her head on the table about.
But the story doesn’t end here.
Hoelter’s niece happened to read the post on Facebook about the newly adopted dog. She immediately got to work out a reunion.
To say the moment when Louie united with his rescuer was emotional would be an understatement.
“I was awestruck because I didn’t think he remembered me,” Hoelter said. “They sat him down and he ran right to me.”
He returned the adorable creature with an equal amount of love and kisses.
Hoelter couldn’t be happier about where Louie is living now.
He’s thankful to have found the pup that fateful night. Everything seems to have worked out the for the little doggie, and he couldn’t be more thrilled.
“It makes me think God has a purpose for everyone, to be honest with you. We all have our calling,” Hoelter said. “I’m going to have to walk more often, but I sure don’t want to find more dogs under the bridge.”
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