GREENVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) – It was an emotional day on Thursday when a Neenah man was reunited with a dog he saved from drowning while on vacation in Arizona.
It happened in July, but the dog — known as Luke Skywalker — needed months of medical care. The dog flew to Appleton International Airport on Thursday to be reunited with Josh Salas, his new owner.
Salas, a retired military veteran, rescued the dog in the middle of the night when he saw the dog drowning in a lake, not far from the place he was staying in Arizona. He jumped in to save the dog, who had a fractured pelvis that required surgery and extensive follow-ups.
“I could tell he was wobbling and couldn’t walk right or anything so I put him in my car, took him home, and she’s a big dog fan, so she was like let’s take him to the vet se we took him to the vet, and he apparently had a broken back,” said Salas.
Since the animal was homeless, Salas adopted it, and the Arizona Humane Society helped get the dog on a plane and safely to Appleton.
“He didn’t want me to go,” Salas said. “And I just met the dog, you know. He didn’t want to leave me. I got scared and everything, and it was like I was his owner for the longest time, but I wasn’t. I just met him that night. I guess he just noticed I happened to save his life because he could not get out of that pond.”
The dog is still recovering from its injuries. Salas says they’ll have to take it easy at first while making an adjustment to life in Wisconsin.
Bre Szymborski of Neenah who was with Salas to pick up the dog added.”They called me today, and told me he still has a limp. He’s going to need a lot of physical therapy and rest.”