St. John's beagle saved in daring rescue after 7 days in Bowring Park

Finn the beagle is recovering well after returning home on Wednesday. (Submitted by Krissy Rendell - image credit)
Finn the beagle is recovering well after returning home on Wednesday. (Submitted by Krissy Rendell - image credit)
Submitted by Krissy Rendell
Submitted by Krissy Rendell

A St. John's woman is thanking a Good Samaritan for performing a daring rescue to save her missing dog in Bowring Park.

Krissy Rendell's beagle, Finn, had been missing since Dec. 22, when he backed out of his leash on the way to a local dog park. Finn ended up on Waterford Bridge Road, where he was hit by a vehicle, and dashed into Bowring Park after an adrenalin rush from his injury.

"All I could picture was him somewhere, you know, alone in racks of pain," Rendell said Monday. "It was seven long days over the Christmas season. It was just heartbreaking, heartbreaking for our family."

Rendell spent the next week making posts and pleas for help on Facebook, which she says garnered overwhelming support.

Craig Aylward hadn't seen any of those posts but did run into Rendell's partner looking for Finn at the park. Two days later, Aylward's dog Nikki alerted him to something while walking across the South Brook Trail.

"I look over the side of the bridge there and look down, I noticed Finn is down there," Aylward said. "When we happened to find him, it just clicked that, 'Hey, this is the dog that guy was looking for."

Craig Aylward
Craig Aylward

Aylward said he immediately sprang into action — tying his dog to the bridge, climbing over a fence and using tree branches to climb down to Finn.

"I picked him up and put him up on my shoulder and climbed back up the hill, climbed back up over the rail, untied my dog," he said.

"I could have had a broken leg that morning. It wouldn't have mattered, I wasn't leaving the dog down there. I was getting down there, I was getting him, and I was gonna get him home."

Aylward posted a picture of Finn online, and the dog was soon reunited with Rendell.

"She was so happy, you know, to hear from me. And I'm glad I could do what I could do. It was just the right place at the right time," Aylward said.

Submitted by Kristen Rendell
Submitted by Kristen Rendell

Rendell says Finn is recovering well after a long nap and is thankful for the support her family received — and the quick thinking of both Aylward and his dog.

"The fact that Nikki alerted him and Craig didn't ignore that is what really gets me.… As soon as it registered and I processed it, I said, 'OK, I need to get this guy the key to the city.' Because he is a true hero in my eyes and our family's eyes," she said.

"I never really understood it, what it meant that people rallied around and they helped. You know, I've seen it and I've read it and I've heard other good news stories. But I never ever understood that myself, and I do now."

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