NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The North Charleston firefighter whose rescue of a three-month old puppy went viral on social media last weekend gave the puppy a forever home Saturday.
Capt. Paul Bryant, a 34-year veteran of the North Charleston Fire Department, dug the shepherd mix puppy out from under a pile of rocks and concrete slabs on March 30. His crew responded after bike riders heard the puppy’s cries.
Despite his many years as a firefighter, he had never been involved in an animal rescue before.
“How can you not carry that dog home?” Bryant said at the Charleston Animal Society Saturday afternoon. “He’s just adorable.”
Bryant said they treated this rescue like any other: they carefully evaluated the situation, realized the animal was underneath the debris, and took a shovel and began trying to move rocks. Bryant was finally able to dig out enough earth around the puppy to free him.
“Then once we got him out, he was like, ‘Hey, how are you?'” Bryant said. “It was just an absolutely gorgeous experience.”
Bryant soon learned the puppy had not been microchipped and was headed to the Charleston Animal Shelter.
“I said, ‘Oh, no,’ this was meant to be, he’s my dog and he’s coming home with me,” Bryant said.
He said his family decided on a appropriate name: Rocky. When the two were reunited, Rocky was all smiles and gave his rescuer plenty of kisses and tail wags.
What Bryant says he’s most looking forward to is giving Rocky the stable home and the love the pup deserves.
Bryant’s family lost their last dog three years ago and had been looking for another one but up until the rescue, it seemed it wasn’t meant to be.
“And this was just absolutely incredible, doing the rescue, and the good Lord just said, ‘This is your dog,'” he said.
The Charleston Animal Society neutered the puppy and microchipped it and Bryant completed the adoption process immediately after working a full shift at the Cooper River Bridge Run.
He and Rocky left the North Charleston facility Saturday afternoon headed home for new adventures together.