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Orlando man lures puppies on paddleboard in Lake Highland Rescue

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Dog rescued from Orlando’s Lake Highland

An Orlando architect can now be seen as some sort of local superhero, at least to his neighbors in Lake Highland Park. Patrick Dunleavy is credited with rescuing a dog who had difficulty swimming.

An Orlando architect can now be seen as some sort of local superhero, at least to his neighbors in Lake Highland Park.

Patrick Dunleavy was surprised to find FOX 35 reporter Andrea Lyon at his door on Tuesday afternoon. At first he thought it was the owner of a dog he recently saved from drowning. But no, we wanted to follow up on a very cool photo that was first posted on Orlando’s Bungalower.

The picture showed Dunleavy’s quick thinking about jumping on a paddleboard to save the pup named Kona.

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“I know I probably couldn’t swim that far at first, let alone that she was just paddling with dogs and slowing down,” Dunleavy said it was about 250 feet to the middle of the lake.

According to Dunleavy, it’s about 18 feet at the deepest point on Lake Highland. With a view of the lake it is not very transparent. Though we could see long slimy weeds dancing just below the surface. And of course Dunleavy said that alligators live in it too.

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“When I got to her I tried to pull her up on the board, but when I couldn’t get her up on the board, I jumped in the water, in my shoes, and in everything,” he said.

It took Dunleavy about four minutes to swim ashore again. Kona took a break from dog paddling and lay down on the board.

Brittany Palladino, Dunleavy’s friend, captured the rescue in a series of photos. These photos are now the talk of Lake Highland Park.

“It was all over the local chat line in our neighborhood text,” said Brendan Sweeney. “Right place, right time! The poor dog fell in the lake,” he added.

“The last thing I wanted to see was something bad for this dog,” said Dunleavy.

In the photos, Kona’s smile says it all. Safe and sound on the bank, Kona’s tongue hung out, probably knowing she would be fine.

“She was just so cute,” he said.

Dunleavy took her to a local vet. They found a chip and since then the owners have picked up Kona and brought it home. However, Dunleavy said he would like to know who the family is so that he can reunite with Kona to see how she is doing.

“We just hope we get some puppy visits,” he said.

If you know Kona’s family, contact FOX 35 here.

Check out FOX 35 News for the latest headlines in central Florida.

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Janet Smith