Puppy reunited with family after icy creek swim

Simon, a 4-month-old Labrador mix, was rescued by Simon, a 4-month-old Labrador mix, was rescued by Suffolk County police and his owner on Jan. 7 after taking a dip in an icy Bayport creek. The dog had escaped from his family's fenced-in yard earlier that morning, and a neighbor called police when he spotted Simon swimming in Homan Creek. The dog's owner, Kevin Fitz, and two officers tracked Simon to beneath a nearby boardwalk, where he was found wet and shivering. Fitz and his daughter, Daphne, 9, used a hair dryer and heater to warm Simon, who, by afternoon, was romping as usual. | Here's the story Photo Credit: James Carbone

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Simon, a 4-month-old Labrador mix puppy, was reunited Monday morning with his family after a swim in an icy Bayport creek and rescue by Suffolk County Police and his owner.

The adventure began when Simon, adopted on Christmas Eve from North Shore Animal League America, was let out early Monday morning into his fenced-in yard, said his owner, Kevin Fitz of Salt Meadow Lane. When Fitz realized Simon had escaped and was missing, he said he jumped in his car to search. Fitz said he came across Suffolk police officers responding to an 8:20 a.m. call from a neighbor reporting a dog in Homan Creek.

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Another neighbor and barking dogs helped draw attention to Simon's location, Fitz said. He and Emergency Services Officer Daniel Coan and Fifth Precinct officer David Preller then tracked Simon to beneath a nearby boardwalk, where he was found, "wet and shivering," Fitz said.

"I was overjoyed and relieved he was there," said Fitz, 57, a chef at a Sayville golf club, who was home Monday to meet with insurance adjusters about damage from superstorm Sandy.

Fitz and his 9-year-old daughter, Daphne, said they used a hair dryer and heater to warm Simon, who, by afternoon, was romping as usual.

Daphne said she was scared when she learned the pup was missing, but, when her dad walked in the door with Simon, "I felt really, really happy and relieved."

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