Blue Bombers running back Brady Oliveira was walking his rescue dog Nellie when he noticed another dog owner in a precarious situation.
Ashley Bourgeois was walking towards the Red River calling for her dog. Oliveira kept an eye on the situation from afar at Maple Grove Dog Park in Winnipeg. He trusted his instincts and went over to the water, her dog had fallen in.
“She was in disbelief and panic, I remember her saying, ‘Oh my god, I’m going to lose my dog.'” It’s about a 10-foot drop down, almost like a little cliff and then you get down and there’s the river. Oliveira said on TSN radio 1290 in Winnipeg.
“It felt like 10 minutes but it more so was like 10 seconds. Trying to think fast, I took everything out of my pockets, ran down the little steep hill.”
Bourgeois was knee high into the water holding on to a nearby while calling for her dog to come back. Oliveira grabbed her arm, leaned in and grab her dog — all those early mornings in the gym paid off in the moment.
“Her dog is 10 years old and 90 pounds, he was in water which made him heavier. I was able to grab ahold of the dog’s collar, pull him out of the river, and then he was good. I was able to give her a hand and help her out fo the water as well,” Oliveira said.
“If I wouldn’t have witnessed this, usually people don’t walk by the riverbank or if you do it’s quite a big drop off, so you would never be able to tell if anyone is down there. I’m glad that I was being wary of the situation. I’m so happy that everyone was safe.”
During the off-season Oliveira has been working with a dog rescue organization, K9 Advocates, a non-profit organization devoted to assisting dogs in rural First Nation communities with the ongoing problem of over population.
“I was able to lend a helping hand,” Oliveira said of the rescue. “It’s my duty being a good citizen and in this community, when you see someone in need or in danger and if they need help, you go and lend them a helping hand.”
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The team @k9advocatesmanitoba was able to rescue a total of 760 Dogs & Cats which is crucial during the cold Manitoba winter months. This pandemic hasn’t allowed us to get out like usual & rescue these amazing animals in need, but we are still trying to do our best. The number of 760 is mind blowing & incredible, but there is still so many more animals that need our help & we will continue to do our part. This video is just a small recap of the winter months, but doesn’t even show all the hard work & behind the scenes that goes on over @ K9 into making all this a reality. Please follow @k9advocatesmanitoba for constant updates & any info you may need to get involved in helping these animals live a better life. Donations & fosters are very much appreciated. @ryanpk @jasminecolucci S/O to @theprodigyba & @garrett_mcewen for coming out to help film some rescue runs.