‘This girl is a fighter’: Rescue dog saved from waters of Lake Michigan

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CHICAGO – A 3-year-old rescue dog missing since Saturday is back with her owner after a marine rescue unit pulled her from the waters of northern Lake Michigan Monday.

Witnesses called 911 after spotting a dog swimming about a quarter-mile outside of Montrose Harbor Monday morning.

Chicago officers Jen Terzich and Emmanuel Ordaz Jimenez, serving his third day on the force, were first to the scene.

Chicago police, firefighters look into Lake Michigan after reports of a dog swimming off Montrose Harbor (Courtesy: WGN)

"I could only see a head and it bobbing in the water," Terzich said. "The dog went under for a bit, and boom, it popped right back."

Officer Jimenez credits Terzich with the save, saying she kept an eye on Laila to give the Chicago Fire Department's Marine Unit an idea of where to look.

"I was relieved. I’m a dog lover. I have two dogs myself and I was relieved that she was able to be rescued," Terzich said.

Owner Charles Bogenberger has been frantically searching for 3-year-old Laila since she went missing on Saturday.

"Thank goodness she can swim that far and thank goodness they were able to bring her back," Bogenberger said.

A marine rescue team pulls a dog into their boat after she was found in the waters near Montrose Harbor. (Courtesy: WGN)

Laila was scooped up by the marine rescue team and brought back to dry land and to the West Wrigley Animal Hospital. Veterinarian Dr. Eileen Murphy said she "looked good" despite the ordeal.

A scan of her microchip lead back to that phone call Charles hoped for.

"My first thought was: 'Is she alive?'" he said. "I didn’t think she was going to make it through the weekend ... But this girl is a fighter, she can survive."

Charles adopted Laila in February and said he knows the shy dog is a fighter because her life hasn’t been easy.

"She came from the streets of Houston, and when they found her she was sick and malnourished," Bogenberger said. "She learned a lot of survival skills down there that helped her survive a weekend in Chicago."

Charles and Laila had just moved to Chicago about a month ago. After workers at the animal hospital contacted Charles, he rushed over to bring her home.

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