Reporting Pat Ciarrocchi
By Pat Ciarrocchi
BURLINGTON CITY, NJ (CBS) — In Burlington City, a seven-year-old Beagle named Brandi is quickly becoming the stuff of legends.
A bridge, a jump, a swim to shore has everyone wondering … how did she do it?
“It’s a miracle, it’s a miracle, it’s a miracle,” exclaimed Brandi’s owner, Alexis Lorenz.
On Friday night, she didn’t know if she would ever be able to hold Brandi again. Alexis said she was hysterically crying.
It was a little before 9 on Friday night when her husband came home after his usual walk with the dogs. His dog, Rosie, was at his side, but somehow, Brandi broke free while they were on the Promenade along the Delaware River, near the Burlington-Bristol Bridge.
“He told me,” said Alexis, “’I lost Brandi.’”
Alexis had rescued Brandi five years ago in Tennessee after she had a litter of puppies. Brandi was always skittish and nervous around people, but when Alexis saw her for the first time, Brandi came to her. Alexis didn’t know what to think on Friday night.
When Alexis and her husband rushed to the bridge, they found people looking for her already, calling her name. Even a toll taker had seen Brandi. He told Alexis that Brandi was on a mission, going for the center of the bridge. He wanted to stop traffic.
Almost unbelievably, police who had search lights, said Brandi had jumped. They saw her doggy paddling to the shore.
Alexis didn’t know that Brandi could swim. She had never been near the water. And the jump from the bridge into the Delaware River was 135 feet at mid-span.
“There’s nothing to be said, other than it’s a miracle,” said Alexis. “How does a dog jump from the bridge, survive, swim to shore against the current, and know to swim to the Jersey side?”
In the dark hours after Alexis’ ordeal began, she saw two eyes illuminated by light hiding in a thicket near the promenade. It was Brandi.
Brandi only suffered a bruise to her stomach. But Alexis says she will permit her husband to walk Brandi again, but only if he is supervised.